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" This goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory. . . . What a piece of 
work is a man ! How noble in reason ! how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how 
express and admirable ! . . . the beauty of the world ! the paragon of animals ! _ And yet^ 
to me. what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me ; no, nor woman neither. ..." 


" I look out of myself into the world of men, and there I see a sight which fills me with 
unspeakable distress. . . . The sight of the world is nothing else than the prophet s scroll,, 
full of lamentations and mourning and woe. " 

NEWMAN S Apologia. 


11 o n "fj o n 


The Right of Translation and Reproduction is Reserved 







78. Newman in the pulpit i 

79. The message of " The Wrath of God" 7 

80. A Religion of Fear 12 

81. Yet a practical Religion 16 



82. Pusey *s Tract on Baptism 22 

83. The Tractarian protest for deeds against words 25 

84. Newman , his own "secret" 28 



85. Timing the assault 37 

86. Hampderts Bampton Lectures 40 

87. Newmaris " Elucidations " 44 



88. Which side was the more Anglican 1 ! 51 

3 89. Did the Victor fight fairly 1 56 

90. The result 60 





91. A " cardinal point of time" 64 

92. Rose asks for an explanation 67 

93. " The Forgiveness of Sins" 72 

94. " The Prophetical Office* 78 

95- "Justification by Faith" 83 

96. " Hippodeides doesn t care " 88 



97. The first check 94 

98. Quarrel between the Leaders 97 

99. Newman feels "a sort of bad conscience" 100 

100. Conscience " 103, 



101. What is Faith ? no 

102. "Faith and Reason contrasted" 114 

103. " I really do think I have defined Reason" 120 

104. " God exercises us with less evidence" 122 

105. The Understanding, " a sacrifice" to God 126 



106. " The most prominent person"" in the New Contingent. . 129 

107. W. G. Ward 133 

1 08. How it came to pass that Ward made Newman say 

" Yes " or " No ", when he did not wish to i$& 

109. Who was to blame ? r 144 




110. Last words as an Anglican 151 

111. "The comforts of life "the main cause" of "our 

want of love to God" i5 6 

112. " Present Blessings " . 160 

S 113. " We feel more joy than we know we do" 162 



114. Faith is " practically to colour evidence" 165 

115. "Love" is to be "the Safeguard of Faith" 169 

1 1 6. But "love" " does not mean love precisely " 171 

117. The faith of Mesha, King of Moab i?3 

118. " Surely you must also say something more 176 



119. " All is not well" J 79 

120. "The Ghost", as described in 1850 183 

121. " The Ghost", as it was in fact 184 

122. "The omen" l86 

123. " The spirit that I have seen may be the devil" . . 190 

124. " We do it wrong, being so majestical" 197 



125. " Being guided by his Reason" 202 

126. A breathing-space at Littlemore 212 

127. Project of a Monastic House 216 

128. Implicit and Explicit Reason 218 

129. He asks " leave" "to retain St. Mary s 222 

130. He justifies the " leave" by " Explicit Reason" . . . . 229 




131. Preparing to " prove" the cannon 2^5 

132. The sermons that preceded Tract 90 239 

133. The "proving", or Tract 90 242 

$ 134. What was amiss in Tract 90 245 

35- Signs of danger 2 c 2 



136. Newman out-man&uvres his BisJiop 2 -~ 

137. Newman s notions of an "understanding" 2 6i 

138. The real "understanding" 2 6^ 

139. Who broke the "understanding" 268 

140. Newman is " quite satisfied with the bargain" 2 y 2 



141. " Simplicity"? or "Jesuitism"? 2y7 

142. Ward makes things " absolutely dear" 280 

143. " Hoist with his own petard " 2 3 4 

144- The " three blows" ,[[ 2 gg 



145. Drawing the vanguard back 
146. Pushing the rear 
147. Janus-leadership 


146. Pushing the rearguard on 


148. "Bigotry" the sin of Whately , 02 

1 49. Sibthorp s conversion ^ o6 

150. Preventing desertions 

151. " Grounds for steadfastness" -- 





3 152. "Torres Vedras" ................ 317 

5 153. Newman defends his position with " irony" ..... 320 

154 "AskPusey" .................. 326 

155. The Essay on Ecclesiastical Miracles ........ 330 



156. Retractations 334 

Jj 157. " Is not my present position . . . a treachery towards the 

Church?" 339 

158. " I think the Church of Rome the Catholic Church" . . 345 

159. Resignation of St. Mary s 349 



1 60. Proposed censure oj Tract 90 354 

161. Waiting for a " sign" 359 

162. Fear of " a judicial delusion " 363 

163. The white flag 368 



164. The Essay on Doctrinal Development . 375 

165. Thirlwall and Hare on this Essay 378 

{5 1 66. Its rhetorical skill . 380 

167. " He did not intend to work out any problem" 383 






1 68. Still waiting for a sign 3 8 7 

5 169. " Show some token upon me " 395 

170. Some kind of " sign" at last 399 

5 171. Newman "assents to a proposition made to him" . , . 401 
:^ jy 2 . The end: "Faith and Reason are incompatible, 

perhaps" 405 



S 173. " Fierceness and Sport" again 408 

.55174. " The Home of Christian Mirth * 4 T 5 


i. Positive 
2. Negative 

NOTES . , 433 



78. Newman in the pulpit^- 

U THE Tracts," says Dean Church, "were not the 
most powerful instruments in drawing sympathy to the 
Movement. None but those who remember them can 
adequately estimate the effect of Mr. Newman s four 
o clock sermons at St. Mary s. The world knows 
them, has heard a good deal about them, has passed 
its various judgments on them. But it hardly realizes 
that, without those sermons, the Movement might 
never have gone on ; certainly would not have been 
what it was. . . . While men were reading and talking 
about the Tracts, they were hearing and reading the 
sermons, and in the sermons they heard the living 
meaning and reason and bearing of the Tracts, their 
ethical affinities, their moral standard/ 

If this be so, it is to the sermons, not as printed but 
as uttered in the pulpit of St. Mary s, that we must 
look for the main source of the strength and direction 
of the Tractarian advance ; and since we cannot " re 
member them " ourselves, we must try to remember 
them at second hand ; through the reminiscences of 

1 References and dates will be found in the Notes at the end of 
the volume : *, and t, call special attention to them. 
s VOL. II B 


those who have recorded their impressions of them. 
Varied as these are, they all testify to a sense in the 
hearers that they were in the presence of a unique 
personality bringing them closer to invisible things. 
Oral tradition in Oxford still preserves the confessions 
of " fast men," altogether unprepared for deep religious 
impressions, who dropped in from curiosity some after 
noon to hear the Vicar of St. Mary s, and who never 
afterwards forgot the half-hour of cold terror into 
which they were drawn by his plain, quiet, irresistible 
statements of what seemed to be, when thus stated, 
undeniable facts and substantial realities. Many, it 
is said, of a very different type, who found themselves 
unable to follow the preacher to his dogmatic conclu 
sions, none the less gratefully acknowledged that they 
had been penetrated and animated by his religious 
principles, and believed that they had lived better 
lives, and had striven to do their duty more stead 
fastly, because of his teaching. Some lay stress on 
his mien, voice, and manner, as accessories or instru 
ments of his inexplicable fascination. Thin, pale, and 
with large lustrous eyes, piercing through this veil of 
men and things, as if hardly made for this world, the 
slight, tall, bent figure is described as a spiritual appari 
tion gliding in the dim afternoon light through the 
aisles of St. Mary s, rising into the pulpit, and then, 
in the most entrancing of voices breaking the silence 
with words which were, of themselves, a religious 
music, subtle, sweet, and mournful. 

There were none at all of the arts or instincts by 
which an orator draws men into sympathy with him 
self by showing his sympathy with them, and first 
arrests and then retains the attention of his audience. 
Action there was none. The figure unmoved, the eyes 


bent down upon the sermon, the motionless arm and 
hand, even the features rigidly kept under control, 
and the voice itself restrained from varied inflections 
lest it should do more than suggest the emotions which 
the preacher felt bound to suppress in the immediate 
presence of the Creator, the rapidly though clearly 
enunciated sentences, followed by a pause (a thing 
fatal to most oratory) as if to give the speaker time to 
ponder the divine precept or warning all these things 
were characteristic rather of a priest delivering oracles 
than of a speaker addressing an assembly. Yet, says 
one of his hearers who has a right to judge, there was 
a stamp and seal upon the man as a whole, a solemn 
sweetness and music in the tone, a harmony between 
voice and figure and manner, all resulting in a com 
pleteness that exercised on his hearers an indescribable 

To others the prominent charm was the versatility 
and clearness of his exposition, his knowledge of 
human nature, and his instinctive power of saying 
what appealed to the very heart of each of his hearers. 
"His illustrations," says Mr. J. A. Froude, "were in 
exhaustible. He seemed to be addressing the most 
secret consciousness of each one of us, as the eyes of 
a portrait appear to look at every person in the room. 
They appeared to me to be the outcome of continued 
meditation upon his fellow-creatures and their position 
in the world, their awful responsibilities, the mystery 
of their nature strangely mixed of good and evil, of 
strength and weakness A tone, not of fear but of 
infinite pity, ran through them all." A sermon from 
him is described as entering into all the hearer s feel 
ings, ideas, modes of viewing things ; realising vividly 
and almost sympathetically, the feelings of people who 

e 2 


might have been supposed most alien from him the 
coarse man of the world, for example, who craves 
sensual excitement, and the pushing tradesman who 
is all for money-making, as well as the ambitious youth 
who is intent on cutting himself a path and making 
himself a name in the world. 

It was not Newman s Tractarian doctrine, say some, 
it was his plastic self-adaptiveness to the manifold in 
firmities and temptations of his hearers, that under 
mined and captured their hearts. You might attend 
his sermons for weeks together, and hear little allusion 
to disputed ecclesiastical points : what there was of 
High Church teaching was implied rather than ex 
pressed ; his power showed itself chiefly in the un- 
looked for way in which he touched into life old 
truths, moral or spiritual, which all Christians acknow 
ledge, but few feel : as when he spoke of " unreal 
words," or "the individuality of the soul," or " the 
Cross of Christ the measure of the world," or " the 
Church a home for the lonely." Others again find 
the secret of his spell in something latent and hard to 
define ; one, for example, perceives behind (as it 
were) the preacher s will, and pressing upon it, a 
torrent of feeling which, at times, would burst forth 
in the streams of a rich, ardent and imaginative illus 
tration ; another notes a perplexing charm in the pathos 
of an inexplicable undertone of forlornness. Nega 
tively, almost all agree in being wholly silent as to 
the preacher s power of encouraging, heartening, 
strengthening, uplifting, or to use a word that is 
found on almost every page of St. Paul s Epistles - 
" comforting." Positively, they are as unanimous in 
attesting that few, after hearing him, failed to be 
drawn towards him ; none could afterwards believe 


him to be insincere ; not many, that had once heard 
him, failed to love, or at least to entertain a liking 
for him ; many, who differed from him on religious 
points, retained a feeling of loyalty to him throughout 
their lives ; some felt that to him they owed their 
spiritual life itself. 

Newman called himself "the rhetorician" of his 
Party. And so he was ; and, as a writer, he was not 
much more. But as a preacher, he was far more. 
His style, his manner, his audience, his nature, are 
all inconsistent with the notion that he was a mere 
rhetorician in the pulpit. Yet as his influence was not 
that of an orator, sweeping away masses in a flood of 
contagious enthusiasm, so neither was it quite that of 
a prophet seeing the things of God distinctly and 
enunciating them with fervid force. He did not see, 
and did not profess to see, the principles of invisible 
things with distinctness ; he saw but their manifesta 
tions in the Scriptures. He saw merely enough to 
grope and to help others to grope, in fear and tremb 
ling. But he had this double merit, first that what 
he saw, he saw with quite enough clearness for the 
purpose of some kind of immediate action ; secondly, 
that what he saw, this, and no more, he professed to 
see. He sometimes took his hearers into his con 
fidence. It was clear to him, and sometimes he 
made it clear to them, that he and they were, so to 
speak, in the same boat, or on the same frail raft, 
striving after the same faintly-discerned and scarcely 
accessible harbour. He was pondering or pleading, 
rather than preaching, pleading his own cause, as well 
as theirs, blaming his own weaknesses, chiding and 
suppressing his own doubts, dictating the course of 
action needful for himself as well as for them. 


To this was added, that he knew their minds or, 
at least, all the obscure, unswept, and ungarnished 
corners of their minds all their infirmities, vacilla 
tions, tortuosities, defects, and sins, as if he had been 
inside them and made a map of them. In church, 
this made men accept his preaching ; and out of 
church this made them attach a singular weight to 
his good opinion especially if they really were prone 
to the faults for which he had the keenest eye self-in 
trospective, or selfish, or fickle, or weak, or inconsistent. 
For then they knew themselves to be what he thought 
them : and this made them believe in him, the more 
they disbelieved in themselves ; and so some came to 
lean wholly on him (more than he himself would have 
desired) as their moral and spiritual director ; and one 
at least of his admirers was wont to put down in his 
journal records of his greater or less "kindness," on 
this or that day, as if that were a kind of spiritual 
barometer testing the writer s moral condition ! This 
was Mark Pattison. But Arnold, too, a man of very 
different type, open-hearted, fearless, sympathetic, and 
full of insight, paid a tribute to Newman s fascinating 
power when, after an evening spent by his side at the 
Oriel table, he told Stanley that " it would not do to 
meet him often." On this point, however, the strongest 
evidence comes from one of Newman s pupils, who, if 
any one, had a fair right to complain of his teacher ; 
for Newman (as we shall see hereafter) extorted from 
him, during the young man s oscillation between the 
two Churches, a promise not to join the Church of 
Rome (and thereby, possibly, to imperil, in his opinion, 
the safety of his soul) for a period of three years. 

Yet this is the testimony of Father Lockhart (who 
very justifiably broke his promise and preceded his 


teacher by two years in secession) to the influence 
exerted by Newman on him during his pupilage at 
Littlemore : 

" To put into one sentence what struck him as the character of 
his whole teaching and influence, it was to make them use their 
reasoning powers, to seek after the last satisfactory reason one could 
reach of everything, and this led them to the last reason of all, and 
they formed a religious personal belief in God the Creator, our Lord 
and Master. This was the first thing that Newman did for those 
young men under his care. He rooted in their hearts and minds a 
personal conviction of the living God. And he for one could say 
he never had had that feeling of God before he was brought into 
contact with Cardinal Newman. Who that had experience of it 
could forget Newman s majestic countenance ? the meekness, the 
humility, the purity of a virgin heart in work and will, as the poet 
says, a purity that was expressed in his eyes, his kindness, the sweet 
ness of his voice, his winning smile, his caressing way which had in 
it nothing of softness, but which you felt was a communication to 
you of strength from a strong soul a thing to be felt in order to be 
realized. It was when Newman read the Scriptures from the lectern 
in St. Mary s Church at Oxford that one felt more than ever that his 
words were those of a seer who saw God and the things of God. 
Many men were impressive readers, but they did not reach the soul. 
They played on the senses and imagination, they were good actors, 
they did not forget themselves, and one did not forget them. But 
Newman had the power of so impressing the soul as to efface him 
self ; you thought only of the majestic soul that saw God. It was 
God speaking to you as He speaks to you through creation ; but in 
a deeper way, by the articulate voice of man made in the image of 
God and raised to His likeness by grace, communicating to your 
intelligence and sense and imagination, by words which were the 
signs of ideas, a transcript of the work and private thoughts that 
were in God." 

79. The Message of " The Wrath of God" 

What was the message, which the preacher s marvel 
lous personal influence helped to bring home to the 
hearts of his hearers ? It may be described in those 


apostolic words which as the last of three reasons for 
being "not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ," re 
mind us that " The wrath of God is revealed " thereby 
" against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men 
who keep down the truth in unrighteousness." This 
aspect of the Good News, most important but still sub 
ordinate, in St. Paul s doctrine, to the revelation of 
God s love, is so exalted by Newman that except 
perhaps during a brief period which will presently be 
considered it may be regarded as at least co-ordinate, 
in his preaching, with the higher revelation, and far 
more frequently and prominently mentioned. The 
" wrath of God " is the main topic of his sermons ; but 
it is of course regarded in several aspects and illus 
trated with the richest variety. Sometimes he re 
fers to it as being what we call " the wrath of God," 
sometimes as being called in accommodation to our 
weakness " the wrath of God " as though to indicate 
that, after all, it may be a mere anthropomorphic 
"economy," and that God may, possibly, not be really 
angry, even though He acts as if He were angry. 
But, however described, the meaning is much the 
same. It is a certain divine aversion from evil, a 
turning of the face of God away from sin, which 
results in all the effects that would be attributed (in 
man) to revenge. In other words, God s punishments 
are regarded as being inflicted on sin, as sin, vindic 
tively quite apart from expediency, or from the 
general good of mankind, or from any ultimately 
corrective or remedial results of such punishments. 

This doctrine seemed to him taught in the Bible, con 
sistent with the analogy of Nature, and all the more 
necessary to be inculcated because it was opposed to 
the cheerful form of Christianity then coming into 


vogue among educated people. The last of these 
three reasons was perhaps not the least effective. 
Whenever he felt quite certain that he saw his way, as 
he seemed to see it here, Newman was rather pleased, 
than not, to find that the way was painful. By bear 
ing pain now, there seemed to him a better chance of 
avoiding it hereafter. Present fears, boldly faced and 
endured, were even, perhaps, a sort of propitiation of 
the Future, Why would men ignore plain, disagree 
able, facts ? The New Testament predicted that men 
would grow worse, not better, before the coming of 
Christ : why then did modern false prophets dare to 
anticipate good when the Gospel foretold evil ? Why 
did they say smooth things and prophesy peace, when 
there was no peace, but war, already, between the 
Church and the rebellious world ? W T hy were some 
impious enough to base hopes on Reform and Free 
Trade, when Mount Olivet, like a second Sinai, had 
laid it down, as the Law of Christ, that Christians 
must fix their thoughts on the Son of man, soon to 
come in Judgment ? And why would even religious 
people speak with such a perverse sanguineness about 
the spread of the Gospel abroad, or its deepening 
influence at home, when it was certain that, in all ages, 
though " the many " might be called, only " the few " 
would be chosen ? Might not the Judge at any 
moment appear upon the clouds ? And, if He did, 
what would He find the English nation doing? 
Simply what Noah s foolish, faithless countrymen had 
been doing eating and drinking, marrying and giving 
in marriage up till the day when the deluge swept 
them to destruction ! How was it, then, that men 
would not practise some abstinence in these matters 
which, however lawful in themselves, the Son of God 


Himself had, by implication, called worldly and 
dangerous ? 

And besides, there were other reasons for such self- 
restraint. How could men bear to read in their 
Bibles, and recognize with their lips, the absolute 
necessity that a Christian should " take up the cross " 
for Christ, and yet refuse in any regular way to 
practise self-denial, even in so simple a practice as 
fasting, and that, too, dictated (so Newman maintained) 
by the Bible, and enforced by the constant tradition of 
the Church ? Again, why did men speak emotionally 
of readiness to give up everything for Christ, yet 
grudge Him a few hours on a week-day now and then 
to attend His appointed service? It was of no avail 
to allege against this wilful and rebellious neglect of 
prescribed duties, that the disobeyers had found by 
experience that a full and formal observance of the old 
fastings and saints -days had not altogether worked 
well for religion itself in times past ; that now, the 
revival of these in full force would be likely in some 
cases to injure health, in others, so to slacken labour 
as to increase the poverty of those already poor and to 
interfere with the prosperity of the whole country : 
all this would seem to Newman mere expediency an 
impious plea to put forward against the express 
commands of Scripture ! As for any growth of justice, 
humanity, and mercy, if anyone had pointed to these, 
or to plans for well-directed alms-giving, or to 
systematic attempts to prevent destitution and disease, 
as tokens that the Spirit of Christ was even now at 
work among those who had cast off the discipline of 
the mediaeval Church, he would have replied that such 
a superficial philanthropy as this was part of the 
religion of " this world," little better than a device of 


Satan to mislead us into a disobedient self-com 
placency. Yes, the modern alms-giving itself was a 
proof that modern men were serving this world and 
not Christ : for He had enjoined two duties, fasting and 
alms-giving ; and now-a-days men practised the latter but 
neglected the former. Why ? Because men believed the 
former to be, but the latter not to be, for the good of 
society in other words, for their own good ! What could 
be a clearer token of men s worldliness and hypocrisy 
when, of two commands of their Lord, they adopted 
the one that the world approved ; rejected the one 
that the world disapproved ; and yet professed to 
be serving, not the world, but Christ ! 

To all who accept the Authorized Version of the 
New Testament as constituting a kind of Second Law 
for Christians no less binding upon us than the 
. Levitical Law upon Israel Newman must seem, at 
first sight, to occupy a strong position. His weak 
point he just hints at (of course unconsciously) in a 
passage in which he quotes St. Paul s saying that it 
was "good for a man" to remain unmarried. St. 
Paul s actual meaning is indicated by the context in his 
Epistle. The Apostle was giving the Corinthians no 
general precept, but special advice fitted for special 
circumstances ; that is, in his own words, for " the 
present distress." But Newman will not allow even the 
Apostle himself to limit his own words : for, if such 
limitations were once to be permitted, he saw that there 
would be no end to them, and that his Christian " Law " 
would melt into mere literature. If, he protests, the 
words " present distress " have not a bearing upon 
the present day, " the New Testament scarcely applies 
to us and will have to be re-written." 

This alternative which Newman refuses even to 


entertain represents what will appear to many (not 
excluding High Church theologians) the actual fact. 
The New Testament precepts do need, if not to be 
re-written, at all events to be interpreted and, as it 
were, proportionized, before they can be wholesomely 
and wisely applied to the special needs of our, or any, 
generation. Nothing in Newman s sermons is more 
frequently or more effectively used as a motive for 
modern Christians than the Apostolic antithesis 
between the Church and the World. Yet among 
recent English theologians few have more frankly 
recognized than Dean Church, that the Spirit of Christ 
" has in many respects transformed that society which 
is only for this time and life ; and, while calling and 
guiding souls one by one to the Father, He has made 
His gracious influence felt, even where it could be 
least expected. Even war and riches, even the Babel 
life of our great cities, even the high places of ambition 
and earthly honour, have been touched by His Spirit, 
have found how to be Christian." 

80. A Religion of Fear 

How different is this conception of the modern 
world of men, as leavened by the Christian spirit, 
from Newman s imagination of it as a thing wholly 
evil in itself, like the prophet s scroll, written, within 
and without, with lamentation, mourning, and woe ; and 
conveying to him no reflection whatever of that 
Creator who occupied his whole soul and absorbed his 
every thought ! In Newman s view, mankind is in 
capable of spiritual progress. We cannot rise on the 
shoulders of our forefathers : the brain, but not the 
heart, can be improved as the cycles roll onward ; the 


many will always perish ; none but the few will escape ; 
not even the Gospel itself has ever greatly improved, 
or can improve, the spiritual condition of the multi 
tude, who will in all ages be the prey of Satan ; and 
the lapse of time is more likely to obscure than to 
increase, or illustrate, religious knowledge. The Pri 
mitive Church, though not perfect, attained a standard 
of truth and holiness . which it is a mere dream to 
imagine that we can ever exceed. Why the so-called 
scheme of Redemption was ever planned by its Divine 
Author, or what was His final object therein, this 
says the preacher we neither know nor, in this world, 
ever can know : but so much is certain, that it was not 
intended to prociire the salvation of the world. The 
Scripture tells us that His final object was His own 
glory : but this, he confesses, is not intelligible to us. 
Yet it is all that we are permitted to know. Such are 
the spiritual prospects or such our knowledge of the 
prospects of " the human world," in the eyes of the 
man whose utterances from the pulpit of St. Mary s 
gave life, and force, and penetrative vigour to the 
Tractarian Movement. 

I do not see how it can be denied that the message, 
thus summarized (mostly in Newman s words), was a 
message of fear. Regarded from any point of view, 
whether as news about man, or about God, or about 
the relations between God and man, it seems to be per 
meated to the core with religious dread. Not content 
with insisting that the majority of the human race 
are doomed to everlasting destruction, it practically 
ignores the Fatherhood of God except as a special 
privilege for a chosen few. Even for these it is some 
times spoken of in language suggesting that the 
doctrine is but an anthropomorphic " accommodation " 


to our weak understandings. Nor is it enough that 
he hides God s attributes from us under a veil of 
" economy." Newman is at his worst when he praises 
God, as he sometimes does, for not doing things which 
any moderately just man would be ashamed to do, e.g. 
for not altogether casting off the human beings (whom 
He had Himself created) when they first went astray ; 
or for not making their life a source of unmixed 
misery, and their very senses avenues of pain ! Must 
a Christian be thought to have no command of his 
temper if he calls such praise as this altogether abject, 
servile, abominable ? What should we say of the 
servant of some great English nobleman, who should 
extol his Grace to his Grace s tenants, because his 
Grace, out of his great kindness, had not built all their 
cottages so that the chimneys might keep in the smoke, 
and the roofs let in the rain ? 

The joyful side of the Gospel, Newman almost en 
tirely ignores. We are told that we are not in a con 
dition to rejoice in the Lord ; His very gifts are 
poisoned to us by our sickness. Fear is to accompany 
us to our graves as well as to overshadow our child 
hood. The only period during which a Christian can 
say, " I am safe," is the period after baptism, and 
before he is old enough to say anything. Even if we 
happen to be in the right path to-day, we cannot feel 
safe about to-morrow. Nor even about to-day can we 
feel confident. For without faith we are lost ; yet 
" whether we have faith or not we can but guess." 
Instead of the strengthening stimulus of Christ we find 
pervading Newman s doctrine and precepts a perpetual 
anxiety as to the best means of facing our dreadful 
Redeemer on the Judgment Day. 

Yet, says Mr. J. A. Froude, "a tone not of fear but 


of infinite pity " ran through all his sermons. The ex 
pression reminds us of Bacon s description of the vene 
rable Priest of Nature, in the New Atlantis, who " had 
the aspect of one that pitied the miseries of mankind." 
And it was in point there. That venerable philoso 
pher was supposed to see, not only men s miseries, but 
also their remedies. He, therefore, might pity without 
any overpowering fear. But what did Newman see, 
so far as concerned mankind, except their all but uni 
versal ruin ? In him, not to fear would have argued 
the grossest insensibility. How, then, could the "tone 
of fear " in his teaching, so patent to those who read 
his sermons, have been imperceptible to Mr. Froude, 
who heard them ? 

In part perhaps, fear was then in the air, common 
to large numbers of religious persons in those days, so 
that a doctrine of fear did not seem fearful, relatively, to 
those who assumed it in every sermon as a matter of 
course. When men like Arnold thought that the end 
of the world might be at hand, we cannot be surprised 
if many others of deep religious convictions were im 
pelled in the same direction by the spirit of unrest that 
was abroad moving in all the churches. The Evan 
gelicals, in making men anxious and alarmed about 
their souls, had prepared serious people in England to 
think that no preaching could be true that did not fill 
men with heart-searching anxieties anxieties, very 
often of a non-moral and highly selfish nature. Science 
might have helped some. But there was little science 
in Oxford, at that time. Newman and his friends had 
a legal sense of system, i.e. external order, but very 
little sense of internal order, i.e. living law. Science, 
if it affected, enlarged their fears, making them talk of 
God as the " Creator" with bated breath because the 


world had turned out to be bigger and more curious 
than it had been known to be before. Hence we shall 
actually find one of Newman s principal followers 
deliberately describing the right attitude of man (even 
of a Christian man) to the " Creator" as " abject "! 
We all think, now, that men (not to say those who call 
themselves God s children) should approach God with 
reverence and devotion, but not with " abjectness " ; 
the very word conveys to us a sense of servility, a 
distrust in God s justice, a despicable fear, a creeping, 
fawning faithlessness, which repel and disgust people 
now ; but something approaching to these feelings 
seems to have been thought not blameworthy, but 
even pious, then. If therefore Newman s religion was 
" abject," it was perhaps what he intended it to be. 
He often prefers the language of the Old Testament 
(not the New) to describe the relations of men towards 
God. There he might read that man is made in 
God s image ; or that we are God s " sheep," or even 
God s " children." But the metaphor for which his 
frequent use evinces his special fondness, is that of 
" worms " ; once, at least, "grovelling worms*." 

8 1. Yet a practical Religion 

Only recognize that the Gospel is a misnomer, and 
that Christianity is, and ought to be, a religion of fear, 
and it will be easy to discern much in Newman s 
message which would explain its power over those who 
heard it. Admit his hypothesis, and we must admit 
the good sense of the advice which he gives to the 
bewildered and troubled souls that resorted to him. 
Besides, who can fail to admire the uncompromising 
fairness and plainness with which he states unpleasing 


truths ; not supposing for a moment that his hearers 
like them ; indeed assuming, almost sympathetically 
and commiseratingly, that they do not like them, and 
scarcely professing to like them himself ; but still 
laying them down, as facts, without the least exaggera 
tion, and as it were saying, " Since we cannot deny 
these to be facts, why shut our eyes to them ? We 
cannot undo them. Let us then recognize and make 
the best of them. Is not this the nobler course as well 
as the wiser ? " It was to this appeal, perhaps, that 
young men at Oxford most keenly responded. They 
felt it was the nobler course (or at least the less ignoble), 
since they were in such extreme peril, to face it reso 
lutely ; and they trusted in Newman, because, instead 
of hiding the worst from them, he showed them how 
there was at least a chance of escaping from it. There 
were even in the Bible he did not deny it bright 
and cheerful and hopeful sayings about man, and about 
what might be man s life and prospects, even in this 
present world ; but these needed no priest or prophet 
to expound or enforce. Any one could find out and 
realise these for himself. His business was not with 
fair weather but with storms : he was a spiritual pilot 
holding in his hand a chart of the straits through 
which the soul must pass on its way to life or death ; 
and the use of a chart was to mark the rocks and 
quicksands not the safe places. 

It was as if some vessel, far out at sea, had caught 
fire in the night, and there was no hope of quenching 
the flames, and no boats for more than a fraction of 
the crew, and these leaky and unfit for use ; with a 
captain who lay in his hammock, disabled and sickly, and 
with no orders to give ; and an emotional first lieuten 
ant, who could say much that was eloquent, but nothing 
VOL. ii c 


to the point ; and suddenly there stepped forth one 
among the younger officers, who alone seemed to 
realise the danger, and yet retained his presence of 
mind ; bidding them not talk as yet about drawing 
lots as to who should have the boats, but first make 
the indispensable repairs and prepare the machinery 
for lowering them, and meantime keep back the flames 
so that they might all gain a few more minutes of 
respite from the expectant sharks, and might increase 
the chance for a poor handful of them to attain ulti 
mate safety not blinking the peril, but bidding them 
meet it like men : would not the wiser and more 
manly sort among the sailors, in a prospect so full of 
terror, discard their superior officers (the talkative 
Evangelicals and the torpid High and Dry) turning 
from those who could see nothing and from those who 
could say nothing, to this man, as their last hope, who 
seemed to them to see everything and to hide nothing, 
and who took his chance with the rest, knowing it to 
be but a chance ? 

For indeed, though in his poems, and letters, and 
private utterances, Newman is revealed to us as one 
groping amid uncertainties, he does not appear in this 
character in the sermons. There, he checks himself, 
generally, from contemplating the "distant scene," and 
limits his view to the "one step" before him which 
sufficed for the present needs of himself and others. 
Within this very limited scope, he seemed to have 
taken in every detail with a perfect clearness and 
certainty which gave cogency to all his exhortations. 
Who, after receiving his short, definite, practical 
precepts, would any longer trust to his own mere 
feelings and professions, as a means of rescue from 
spiritual peril ? As well cast oneself into the deep 


with a swimming belt and trust to that for deliverance 
from the jaws of the sea-monsters! In the anxious 
enquirer, passionately craving to know what he must 
do to be saved, how great a confidence at least 
comparatively, for men encompassed by such terrors 
would be inspired by the precision with which he 
marked out the steps to be taken and the order of 
taking them ! His answer was, in effect, " First, do 
something. Do not be content with feelings, or words. 
Then, do something in the way of obedience to author 
ity, where you cannot possibly go wrong. Obey the 
precepts of Scripture. Come to Church ; pray ; fast ; 
give alms ; come to the Holy Communion. Here are 
definite precepts ; and, even if you do not at present 
realise all that is implied in these acts, yet at least you 
can do the acts. You may object that you do not at 
present love or trust God ; that you are wholly, or 
almost wholly, wrapped up in yourself; in a word, 
that you have no faith ; and that works without faith 
are dead. But I reply that faith is not what you 
suppose it to be. Faith is not the feeling of trust in. 
God, nor any other feeling. Faith is the temper of 
obedience to the precepts of God. It may be almost 
identified with obedience itself ; certainly, it cannot 
be separated from obedience. No doubt, the thing 
to be aimed at is a habit of mind, and not mere acts. 
But then a habit of mind cannot be formed except 
with the aid of time, by a prolonged succession of 
acts. Therefore begin by acts, even though you have 
at present no love of God or trust in God ; and begin 
by these acts, not as being dictated by love of man, nor 
out of any notion that they will in themselves do any 
good to anybody, but as being dictated by Scripture. 
" At first, you will find all this a kind of servitude. 

c 2 


God s commandments will be, to you just what the 
Apostle declared them not to be, to him grievous/ 
So they ought to be. Prayer you will find irksome, 
tedious, monotonous ; and so of the rest. This must 
be so. God s commandments must be, at first, griev 
ous to you. You have made them grievous to your 
self by your past life of self-will and rebellion ; and 
you must now bear the burden patiently. Better to 
find them grievous and obey them, than to explain 
them away so as to disobey them. Nor is it safe for 
you to discriminate between the greater and smaller 
precepts of the Christian Law, between, for example, 
precepts as to fasting and precepts as to alms-giving. 
Do but note the importance of the exact enunciation 
of a few words in the form of Baptism. Upon these 
depends the regeneration of an immortal soul ! This 
being the case, how can you tell that, in God s sight, 
though not in man s, the principle, say, of Episcopal 
Succession, may not be as important as that of the 
Unity of God itself? Cease, then, to discriminate; 
learn to obey. The only safe course is to obey all 
precepts that come to you with authority ; obey 
readily, blindly, I might almost say, abjectly ; not 
because this or that is right, or rational, but out of 
faith; that is to say, out of the mere temper of 
docility and obedience which is ready to obey any 
command of God, however wrong or irrational it may 
seem. Christianity happens to be a rational religion. 
But it need not have been. It would have claimed 
obedience just the same. This, as I have admitted, 
is a yoke. But, by degrees, out of this mechanical 
obedience you will rise into a freer and higher state. 
By doing you will be enabled, in some cases, to 
understand, and in all, to believe." 


Presently we shall find Newman modifying this 
doctrine. Church-going, alms-giving, fasting, and 
participation in the Holy Communion, are all com 
patible with a servile terror (absolutely void of love 
or real reverence) which might make the superstitious 
observer of these duties, after each observance, say 
to himself, " There, that is over ! That is so much 
to my credit. Yet, alas, have I done enough ? Am 
I safe ? No, and I never shall be. Always this 
weary round of distasteful acts, and yet never to feel 
safe ! Yet it is my only chance, so I must persevere." 
In such a religious mill-round as this, the performer 
makes himself worse, not better, by every performance. 
Never will he be free. He is riveting on himself the 
chains of superstitious fear, hardening faithlessness into 
the solidity of a habit, making himself chronically blind 
to God s light, and permanently callous to the tender 
visitations of His love. Recognizing this danger, 
Newman will be found hereafter striving, though most 
inadequately, to meet it. But in his earlier teaching 
it is scarcely recognized at all. The nobler among his 
hearers might perhaps supply for themselves what was 
wanting. To them, his realisation of the tremendous 
struggle of life might give nerve and vigour ; and they 
would so tinge the fear with which he thrilled them 
that, in them, it might become wholesome awe. Yet 
his doctrine, in itself, is a doctrine of terror ; and for 
commonplace and vulgar minds one secret of his 
success is that, along with the danger, he indicates a 
method of deliverance which, though wearisome and 
in some respects apparently wasteful, yet at least shifts 
on to Scripture much of the burden of individual 
responsibility, and dispenses with the pain of thinking 
for oneself. 



82. Puseys Tract on Baptism 

YET our question is not yet fully satisfactorily 
answered. To say that Newman s teaching attracted 
many of the most promising young men at Oxford, 
because, being austere and repellent, it was plainly and 
uncompromisingly stated, seems rather paradox than 
explanation. Nor indeed have we been able to do 
full justice to the austerity of the Tractarian teaching, 
following as we have followed, the chronological order 
of things : for it was not till the end of 1835 that the 
inherent darkness of the New Anglicanism was made 
fully visible by the publication, in the form of a Tract, 
of Pusey s discourses on Baptism, with special reference 
to the effects of post-baptismal sin. Mozley had heard 
him preach them and has described the effect they 
produced. "Irreparable," " irreparable "-terror fell 
on those, even the religious and devout, who heard 
these awful words from the pulpit, warning them that 
sin after baptism could never in this life be fully 
pardoned. To think that almost all Christians must 
consider themselves, in spite of the Gospel and its 
promises of forgiveness, merely respited criminals up 


to the last day of their lives ! This doctrine startled 
some of the most devoted adherents of the Movement ; 
but Newman unreservedly defended it as the teaching 
of the Fathers : 

" Pusey s doctrine that is, that of the Fathers is this : That 
in Baptism there is a plenary remission of all that is passed. That 
none such occurs again in this life, none such till the Day of Judg 
ment. But it does not thence follow that there is no kind of Absolu 
tion besides promised us. There is ; and of it the Collect for Ash 
Wednesday, &c., speak. It is this : we are admitted, as a transgress 
ing child might be, not to the same absolute election, but from time 
to time, according as we pray, repent, and are absolved, to a lower 
state in our Father s favour. We are admitted to Church ordinances? 
Church privileges, and the state of grace which is in the Church, a 
place of rest, refreshment, respite, of present help ; without more, 
however, than the suspension of our sins over our heads. Now think 
of this, and see whether both Prayer Book and Pusey do not teach 
this concordantly." 

Like an advancing fog that might spread its darkness 
no one knew whither, this doctrine threatened to cast 
its gloom over the whole of the application of the 
Christian religion to the life of man. Newman him 
self, in a previous letter to the same enquirer, admits 
this, though from an ecclesiastical point of view. He 
does not think of the horror or the injustice ; his mind 
is bent on working the doctrine into a symmetrical 
system : " I do not say he (Pusey) has finished his 
subject ; rather he has opened, a large circle of 
subjects." This indeed was no more than the truth. 
Confession, and Penance, are, at once, thus " opened." 
If Pusey s theory was correct, it became of the utmost 
importance to distinguish between venial faults that 
did not, and sins that did, wash out for the time 
baptismal grace. To draw this distinction fairly, who 
would be sufficient in his own case? How useful, 



how indispensable, to confess one s sins to some 
spiritual director who could tell one how to manage 
one s own soul, and who would suggest, works of 
penance appropriate for each occasion ! Then, again, 
as to Absolution itself, what a new and vast importance 
it would assume! If the act was needful, after each 
sin, to restore the sinner even to " the lower state " of 
"respite" ; if a man who died unabsolved, after the 
commission of some sin not " venial," died " unres- 
pited," cast out even from the lower class of reprieved 
criminals into the lowest of all, the class of sinners 
under sentence of eternal damnation how natural and 
right to be alarmed during every hour of one s life in 
which no absolver was at hand, and how cheap at any 
price the prompt services of a duly ordained priest! 
Further, as to the priest himself, how much more than 
ever important to ascertain that he had the right to 
absolve ! How dear, at any price, the services of an 
absoiver who, though he possessed all the virtues and 
graces of which non-sacerdotal humanity was capable, 
yet, by no fault of his own, but through some fatal 
break in Apostolical Succession at any point in the 
spiritual chain, had been cut off from the source of the 
special grace of absolution ! 

The question of the validity of Orders was thus 
brought up again, and there loomed in the close future 
the contrast between the historical continuity of the 
Apostolic Succession in the great Church of Rome 
and the disputed transmission of sacerdotal grace in 
the dislocated and insulated Church of England. But, 
apart from these doubts in prospect, there was enough 
at hand to fill the anxious enquirer with terror. God, 
it seemed, might forgive through his duly-ordained 
Priests ; yet still, there remained a remnant of dis- 


pleasure for the sinner. Whoever had sinned after 
baptism and who had not ? was incapable of re 
ceiving full forgiveness till the Judgment Day. God 
M forgave " but, as it were, in inverted commas ; 
with a forgiveness of His own ; not as human fathers 
forgave. He was still angry ; or at least He appeared 
to be so. Do what a Christian might, his sins were 
still " in suspension " over him. Even after the most 
orthodox and unimpeachable of absolutions, this was 
the most he could ask for : "I will arise and go to my 
Father and will say unto Him, Make me but a 
respited criminal in thy sight ." 

83. The Tractarian Protest for deeds against words 

Is not such a religion as this repellent ? And to 
say that Newman did not conceal its repulsive nature 
is this to be accepted as a reason why it did not 
repel ? There must be other reasons. One has been 
just touched on above ; but it deserves more than a 
mere passing reference. 

Beneath some perversions and exaggerations, New 
man s doctrine of the wrath and holiness of God 
contained, and did not quite conceal, a good deal that 
was both true and new to that generation. God does 
require from us righteousness ; righteousness does 
(though not in theory, yet in practice, and if we deal 
with life as a whole, and not with a few isolated and 
exceptional cases) require outward acts ; and there is 
a danger that emotion, expressed ostentatiously, or 
even indulgently and unreservedly, may let off, and 
surfer to escape unused, the energy which should have 
been expended in action. Again, the consequences of 
some sins even though the sins themselves may be 


forgiven are in some cases manifestly not remitted- 
Moreover, cause and effect do hold good, in the 
spiritual, as in the material, world. Habits, and 
states of mind, are caused by a series of acts ; and a 
series of acts needs time ; and this applies to the 
state of mind of a confirmed Christian ; so that, as a 
rule, the formation of the Christian character is not 
the affair of an instant nor the mere result of one 
supernatural impulse. Further, God s love and bene 
volence to men if they are of the same kind as His 
love towards Him who taught us the full meaning of 
the divine Fatherhood are compatible with the 
imposition of terrible trials and burdens even upon 
the most saintly of mankind. Much more, as regards 
the sinful and unrepentant, may we be prepared to 
believe that, in proportion to the depth of His love, 
will be the penetrative power of His punishments. 
How wide may be their scope we know not ; we only 
know (through faith) that not one drop of the cup of 
pain will have been wasted or drunk without His super 
vision. But we expect no indulgence. We are sure 
that He will spare us no anguish that may amend our 
sinful souls. It may be that what our planet suffers, 
other planets may behold and take warning from it, so 
that they may not suffer : but all such thoughts as 
these are as far off and visionary as imaginative 
romances about four or five dimensions, and the only 
justification for either is, that they keep us intellect 
ually modest and truthful and sometimes uplift our 
weary souls a little when we find our flight drooping 
and bringing us within view of that gulf of gulfs, that 
only heresy of heresies the thought that God can be 
less good, and less just, than the best, and most just, 
of men, 


In such spiritual truths as these any man may 
believe with awe yet without servility ; and from their 
contemplation he will arise with an increased sense of 
the hatefulness of sin ; of the mystery of the conflict 
between good and evil ; and yet with as profound a 
conviction as ever that God is most truly revealed to 
men as " unmixed benevolence," or as it is expressed 
in the New Testament, as " Love." The obstacles in 
the way of his belief he will not deny ; but he will 
point out that the faith which he cherishes does not 
commit him to any falsification or glossing of facts. 
It merely commits him to what nothing in heaven or 
earth can prove or disprove a belief in motives. 
But the mischief of Newman s view of spiritual things 
was that it distorted all these truths by taking them 
out of the province of morality into that of authority. 
Hence it is that we have found him not daring to 
sever himself from the literal meaning of Scriptural 
precepts ; hence also he is disposed to deny, or ignore, 
the facts of modern life and science which show the 
inapplicability of his Scriptural rules to present needs. 
It is on this account, too, that he lays so strange and 
undue a stress on frequent Church -going and fasting, 
as compared with those acts of kindness (or even of 
mere thoughtfulness and consideration) which come 
naturally in the path of social life. His argument is 
clear. The former are specially Scriptural, the latter 
are not; "this world" regards the former with dis 
favour, while it favours the latter ; therefore it is 
(< safe " to prefer the former. Hence, too, when cir 
cumstances hereafter force him to attempt to formulate 
his notions about God s justifying forgiveness, we shall 
find him actually venturing to say that it consists in 
God s saying as to our past lives what, as a fact, is not 


trite. The time will come indeed when he will be 
driven to perceive that all his system is likely to fail 
for want of a basis, and that, as a basis, love is " the 
one thing needful." And this, for a brief season, may 
seem to drive authority to the wall. Yet even then 
we shall find him soon repenting of this relapse into 
Evangelicalism and into " trusting one s own feelings " ; 
so that he will protest, almost immediately after uttering 
the fatal word " love," that he has not really meant 
what he said, and that he must explain himself in 
Latin, for, after all, k< love " does not mean love precisely ; 
but it is pia affectio, or voluntas pie credendi, or what 
ever else some scholastic authority may have made it 
out to be. 

84. Newman, his own " secret " 

Such a " system " as this cannot have succeeded by 
its own merits. Like many other theologians, New 
man was superior to his system : and the superiority 
which we can only here and there perceive in the 
volumes of his printed sermons may have been far 
more perceptible to those who heard him. It is 
nothing new that the presence of a man should trans 
mit his spirit to others in a degree not attainable by 
written words. And, deep down beneath the doubts 
and fears as to the means of obtaining divine grace, 
and as to the amount of reality, or unreality, in 
" economies," and accommodations," and the claims 
of contending churches, there was always, at bottom, 
an unvarying conviction, not only of the existence of a 
God, but also of One in whom, whether he himself 
was to be saved or damned, he could not but feel 
whatever trust he was capable of feeling. Precluded 
though he was (as he thought) by Scripture from 


teaching that this Being was good or just, in accord 
ance with human notions of goodness or justice, yet 
in his heart of hearts he did, however tremulously, 
cling to the faith that God in the end would be seen to 
be really good, even in the human sense. 

Noble passages in his sermons few, but conclusive 
on this point in their passionate earnestness breathe 
the spirit of him who cried, Though he slay me, yet 
will I put my trust in him." Others, which suggest a 
kind of austere and cruel Retribution in the backeround 


as the real Ruler of the Universe, nevertheless take us 
(for a short time at all events) out of that depressing 
dread with which the preacher mostly leads us to 
regard the Saviour. These represent Christ as being, 
so to speak, under coercion ; as passionately begging 
us to trust in Him ; as assuring us that there is nothing 
that can be done for us that He would not gladly do ; 
nay, even as protesting that, in the strict final Judg 
ment, He will judge us with the most anxious solici 
tude to give full weight to all that may weigh on our 
side, and with a longing to enlarge the fruits of His 
Passion by returning the verdict of " not guilty," 
wherever we ourselves, or the demands of Justice, will 
allow Him to do so. Others again, with a tender and 
compassionate sympathy, without concealing or lighten 
ing the possible horrors of our impending doom, yet 
urge on us that, even if we should lose everything, it 
would be better to lose it while trying to please God, 
than to gain what this world can give, leading the life 
of the flesh. The illustration of a merchant s or a 
gamester s venture is elsewhere brought to bear ; and 
we are told that there is something noble-minded as 
well as possibly lucrative, a kind of mercantile heroism, 
and a generosity at once magnanimous and profitable, 


in risking everything on " God s word." Best of all, 
men are sometimes bidden to rejoice and thank God 
for one another, and especially for the friends whom, 
after giving them to us for a time, He has taken to 
Himself, that we, by them, may be drawn closer to 
Him. Such passages as these are necessarily rare, 
for they are inconsistent with his formal and usual 
doctrine that, as we cannot be sure about our own 
salvation, so neither can we about that of others ; that 
we have enough to do with thinking and fearing about 
our own eternal concerns ; that, as before God, no man 
can help another, for we must not only die alone but 
live alone, nor can there be any spiritual contact 
between soul and soul in this life^. Yet at least on one 
occasion his feelings were too strong for his dogma. 
When Froude drew near to death, Newman refused to 
fear for his sake. With him in his mind he would not 
use his favourite metaphor of " grovelling worms " to 
describe the relations between the human and the 
divine. Casting away all reserve, all doubts, and all 
terrors, he shoots up to a Miltonic height in the 
confidence that God cannot waste this immortal soul 
which He has made. Thus he writes to Froude 

11 It . . . made me think how many posts there are in His king 
dom, how many offices, Who says to one, Do this, and he doeth it, 
&c. It is quite impossible that, some way or other, you are not 
destined to be the instrument of God s purposes. Though I saw the 
earth cleave, and you fall in, or Heaven open and a chariot appear, 
I should say just the same. God has ten thousand posts of service. 
You might be of use in the central elemental fire ; you might be of 
use in the depths of the sea." 

The same passionate conviction, based not upon 
Authority nor upon Scripture but upon his own sense 


of what must be right , finds expression also in a 
sermon, written about the same time. Once more, his 
feelings are too strong for his " system." On grounds 
of logic and probability, if "the many" perish ever 
lastingly, and if outward life affords no certain criterion 
as to the inward state, the preacher ought, I suppose, 
to calculate the odds against a man, and to shudder in 
silence over his grave. But a better faith constrains 
him to pour forth his trust in God as to the destinies of 
the dead, while he conjectures that they may be ordained 
in some way to help the living. 

"They are taken away for some purpose surely; their gifts are 
not lost to us ; their soaring minds, the fire of their contemplations, 
the sanctity of their desires, the vigour of their faith, the sweetness 
and gentleness of their affections, were not given without an object. 
Yea, doubtless, they are keeping up the perpetual chant in the shrine 
above, praying and praising God day and night in His Temple, 
like Moses upon the Mount, while Joshua and his host fight with 

This Newman may possibly have called " trust " and 
not " faith " *: but it seems to savour far more of real 
faith than did his determined acceptance of the doctrine 
whether Pusey s, or Patristic, or both about " res 
pite " and the "lower state of favour," and the "sus 
pension of sins." And this feeling of fundamental 
trust in God though not always, perhaps, consciously 
present in his heart, and still less frequently expressed 
in the printed pages of his sermons may have been 
far more often manifest to those who then heard him 
than to those who now read him, and may largely 
account for the wholesome influence attested by so 
many of his hearers. " Here," they said to themselves, 
"is a man who, in his heart, believes in God." Some 
of them perhaps added, " He believes, or thinks he 


believes, a great many hard sayings about God which 
we cannot accept ; but that matters little. The point 
for us is that he believes in God, and that, in his 
presence we too feel better able to believe." Some 
went far beyond this. " My creed," said one of his 
followers, who will soon attract more of our attention, "is 
extremely simple, Credo in Newmannum" He meant, 
of course, " I have been helped to believe in God by 
Newman, so that, while believing in him, I am as it 
were believing in God." Yet, however we may water 
down this strong saying, there remains in it enough of 
the dangerous. It is a bad thing when a crowd 
11 believes " in a political orator rather than in a cause ; 
but a much worse, when the orator is a preacher, and 
the cause is spiritual jruth. Generally we blame an 
orator of that captivating character, who centres the 
thoughts of his audience on himself and not on some 
thing higher. Was Newman to blame that some of the 
young Oxford men, after hearing him at St. Mary s, 
went back to their rooms saying " I believe in 
Newman " ? 

Nothing in his printed sermons would suggest that 
he was to blame. He called himself, as we have seen 
above, a " rhetorician." And he certainly had an ir 
repressible instinct for discerning at a glance all the 
audacious assertions, and all the frank admissions, by 
which he could strengthen his position, because he 
could justify the former, and more than neutralize the 
latter wholly ignoring any really weak point in his 
case or weak link in his argument. Yet, in his ser 
mons, he is never guilty of popular rhetoric. If he 
deceives others, it is never without first deceiving him 
self. A great gulf divides him from the popular 
orator. The orator addresses the multitude ; but 


Newman, even when speaking to his hearers, is almost 
always really speaking to God about himself and them. 
The political speaker is said to reproduce in rain what 
he has gathered in mist from the audience whose 
opinions, while appearing to guide, he largely obeys ; 
but the preacher we are considering, mostly speaks as 
though there were no audience at all, discoursing about 
facts, as they are as an explorer might describe seas 
unknown to others about shoals, rocks, quicksands, 
engulfing whirlpools. The former courts the favour 
of his hearers : the latter seems ever on his guard 
against the charge of pleasing them or even falling in 
with their opinions. If he does not offend them, or 
startle them, or make them uneasy or afraid, he has 
done nothing ; nay, he has don^ worse than nothing ; 
he has been false to his trust. One who heard him 
has told us that the preacher s " eyes were bent upon 
his sermon." But a later witness, who lived for seven 
years under the same roof with him, adds something 
that means more than this. " Newman," he says, 
" never saw his congregation."* 

That is trebly true. The preacher s bodily and 
mental and spiritual faculties were all concentrated 
upon invisible things, not upon visible human beings. 
An illustration of this may be drawn from that most 
subjective of novels, Callista, in which Newman 
himself clearly speaks through the Christian priest, 
Caecilius. When the priest is attempting to convert 
her, the pagan heroine abruptly reproaches him with 
soliloquizing instead of addressing her : " Father, you 
are thinking of yourself and not of me " ; to which 
he replies, that when he is pleading for souls to God, 
he desires to feel alone with God, nothing intervening. 
It is in this mood that Newman for the most part 



preaches. The words preach ; but the preacher is not 
preaching, but pleading " solus cum solo": for him 
self first, and then for others ; for humanity, in, or 
with, himself. Hence it is that, although he is always 
thinking about himself while preaching, yet it is with 
out the slightest trace of that conceit which Arnold 
(so Newman tells us) wrongly imputed to him. He is 
anxiously revolving his own problems and doubts and 
dangers, not his privileges or successes. If his friend 
lies dying, he comforts himself with the thought of the 
mission of the dead to the living ; if his own life seems 
a tissue of disappointments, he exhorts himself with a 
sermon on Jeremiah ; if the woods of Dartington 
tempt him to forsake his pilgrim lot, he reminds him 
self that the pleasant lights of this world are "to try 
us." Or, to look forward a little, if his Party is pros 
perous and making a noise, and a little too much 
noise, in the world, we shall find him preaching about 
"unreal words"; and when he receives the first 
ghost-like summons to Rome, he tosses to and fro the 
questionings of his doubting heart in the sermon on 
" Divine calls." 

How came it to pass, then, that a teacher, so intent 
on truth, caused some of his followers to fasten their 
belief, not on the truth, but on himself ? So far as 
this happened, it was the system, not the conceit of 
the teacher that was to blame. " The truth," as New 
man preached it, did not require his hearers to use 
their own thoughts, but rather to beware of thinking. 
It bade them be docile ; believe on authority ; distrust 
their own powers of judging ; do certain acts ; repeat 
certain words ; and, by means of these doings and 
these repetitions, it encouraged them to hope that they 
might, in time, believe. Hence, a frank and honest 


man, when called on to accept a great mass of propo 
sitions (many of them new, or regarded in a new light), 
feeling that he could not honestly say he believed 
all this, and yet feeling a strong confidence that the 
preacher could not be deceived, thought that the best 
description of his creed was, " I believe in Newman/ 
A short creed, indeed, but not " extremely simple." 
How little those who committed themselves to it knew 
to what they were committed ! Compared with this 
unwilling misguider, the most fallacious of Sirens was 
but a beginner in deceits. All the more deceitful, 
because so unwilling to deceive ; so complex and 
tortuous in reality, yet so fatally attractive by an 
obvious transparency of thought and superficial 
smoothness of expression here was a leader who 
seemed to see clearly whatever he spoke about, yet 
in reality saw but one step before him, and not always 
even that. Yet are the language and the grammar 
of religion, and especially of a new and reformed reli 
gion, of so very elementary a nature that the teacher 
can afford to be but one or two lessons in advance 
of his pupils ? Was not Tractarianism an affair of 
books ? And was not Newman undertaking to teach 
it before he had " prepared his books"? What was 
the difference between him and other teachers who 
attempt to teach what they have not yet themselves 
learned ? 

There was this great difference. In Newman there 
was a something that he had not learned, yet knew 
without learning, and could communicate to those who 
were in sympathy with him, not by written but by 
| spoken words. In his voice some heard echoes of 
truths from distances far beyond the reach of their 
own souls truths cold, and pitiless, and painful to 

D 2 


hear, but still truths, and therefore not to be neglected. 
His countenance seemed to reflect a light, terrible 
sometimes and awful, yet at least not of this world, 
a light that showed them to themselves, and made 
them shudder at the sight. Through him some felt 
that they had been irresistibly drawn out of their old 
carnal and contemptible existence into a purer and 
nobler, if somewhat sombre, region, whence there was 
good hope that they might rise in time still highe 
towards that ineffable Holiness beneath whose shadow 
the preacher himself seemed to stand, pleading for 
himself and them. These, owing to him their own 
better selves, would not deny him their future selves 
Out of him they were what they were loth to think 
of. In him they seemed to be near God. Believing 
in him, they thought they believed in God. Wha 
more ? Whithersoever he might hereafter draw them 
thither they had no choice but to follow. 



85. Timing the assault 

DR. HAMPDEN has come before us already. In the 
struggle between the Provost and Tutors of Oriel, he 
it was whom the former called in as a lecturer, and 
thereby gained the victory. He had succeeded 
Whately as Principal of St. Alban Hall, and was 
identified with him in religious opinions. In 1832 
he had delivered the Bampton Lectures. They had 
attracted no special attention at the time, but were of 
a liberal tendency, and replete with learning. In 
1834 he was appointed to the Professorship of Moral 
Philosophy, against Newman, who had sought the office 
for the sake of its influence.* Subsequently he had 
taken an active part in advocating the admission of Dis 
senters to the University of Oxford. It was not sur 
prising, therefore not, at least, to the outside world 
that when the death of Dr. Burton (in the winter of 
1835) threw open the Regius Professorship of Divinity, 
the Prime Minister nominated Hampden to fill the 

But to the Tractarians it came as a shock. We 
have seen that it was a part of their policy to organize 
petitions against appointing Max men" to high posts 


in the Church. Accordingly, as soon as he heard that 
Hampden was thought of, Newman urged both Pusey 
and Keble to do what they could to prevent his ap 
pointment. He himself got up at Oxford a petition 
to the King, which he forwarded to the Archbishop. 
An unofficial reply from Rose, the Archbishop s chap 
lain, informed Newman that every step had been 
taken to rescue the University from this evil, but the 
determination of the Prime Minister was too strong. 
In his official answer, the Archbishop l( retained" the 
petition, saying that " it was desirable to avoid so 
strong a step as presenting it." A separate protest 
from Pusey to Lord Melbourne was received with a 
rebuff. Newman now resolved to appeal to the Oxford 
Convocation. They could not turn the Professor out, 
but they might stigmatize him and force him to resign. 
He had already made preparations. Two days after 
the appointment had been announced, he had begun 
(10 February) a " pamphlet against Hampden," and 
" sat up all night at it." Three days afterwards it 
was in the hands of those who were to be asked to 
condemn the new Professor. 

It was entitled Elucidations of Dr. Hampden s 
Theological Statements^ as set forth in his Bampton 
Lectures (and in some Observations subsequently pub 
lished). Hampden s lectures had been delivered in 
1832. They were now, for the first time, attacked in 
1836. To this delay the opponents of the Tractarians 
pointed as a proof that the attack was prompted by 
mere spite. But this was certainly not the case. In 
1832 Newman and Froude, the two fighting spirits of 
the Party, were out of health, and on the point 01 
leaving England ; the Party itself had not yet been 
organized ; Whately had not yet incurred their enmity, 


and Hampden, Whately s ally, seemed hardly heter 
odox enough, or important enough, to need opposition ; 
Bampton Lectures were presumably orthodox, mostly 
dull, and took time to read and digest ; and Newman 
abroad, or occupied with the Movement, in 1833 
would not be likely to have read them till 1834 or 
1835. I shall give reasons hereafter for thinking that 
he probably did not read them till 1836.^ But assume 
that he read them in 1834 or 1835, and found them 
heterodox. Still, it was rather late to attack them ; 
and, having delayed so long, he might naturally have 
refrained from attacking them altogether, but for the 
following unforeseen incident. 

In 1834 there had been a debate in the House of 
Commons on a Bill for the admission of Dissenters to 
the University of Oxford, and Newman had been 
vehement in getting up petitions against it. In the 
following year an attempt had been made in the Oxford 
Convocation to obtain their admission by a compro 
mise. Undergraduates were to be released from the 
obligation to subscribe the Thirty-nine Articles and 
were simply to sign a Declaration of Conformity to 
the Church of England. This had been defeated by 
a majority of 459 to 57 ; and the Tractarians had been 
prominent on the winning side. But Hampden, who 
had all along actively supported the admission of 
Dissenters, had sent a pamphlet of his, in favour of the 
measure (November 1834) to Newman, who had 
frankly replied that, while acknowledging " the tone of 
piety " t in which it was written, he strenuously objected 
to its principles and regarded it as a declaration of war. 
The Government, therefore, seemed now to be forcing 
Hampclen s appointment on the University as a punish 
ment for their resistance. It was in this light, at all 


events, that the Tractarians regarded it as a challenge 
from the enemies of the Church. Why, they asked, 
should they not meet it ? Last year they had con 
tributed a small but energetic contingent to the victori 
ous side. Why should they not now take the field 
again, and try, by discrediting Hampden, to beat the 
Government and Liberalism a second time ? There 
was nothing blameworthy either in the attempt, or in 
the time chosen for the attempt. It was a party fight. 
The only question is, whether the battle was fought 
fairly. To answer that question, we must take a view 
of Hampden s position. 

86. Hampden s B amp ton Lectures 

The controverted Bampton Lectures may be de 
scribed briefly as an extreme statement of what every 
one knows to be laid down in the Anglican Articles, 
viz., that the Scriptures alone are to be accepted as 
the basis of Christian dogma ; that General Councils 
(i.e., the Church) may err, and have erred, "even in 
things pertaining to God " ; that even those venerable 
monuments of ancient Christian faith, the Creeds 
themselves, are to be accepted, not because they have 
been handed down by the Church, but because " they 
may be proved by most certain warrant of holy Scrip 
ture " ; that the Church is "a witness and keeper of 
Holy Writ " (and, by implication, not an infallible in 
terpreter) ; that nothing is to be thought requisite or 
necessary to salvation unless it is " read in " the Scrip 
tures, " or may be proved thereby"; that the Churches 
of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, and Rome (and no 
exception is made of the Church of England) have 
erred, not only as to discipline and ceremonies, but 
also " in matters of Faith." 


Proceeding on these lines, Dr. Hampden drew a 
marked distinction between the statements on matters 
of faith in the Bible, and those in Creeds, or Articles. 
The former he called " facts " ; the latter he called 
" doctrines " a somewhat pedantical use of the words, 
not to be defended in point of style (except perhaps in 
a University sermon), but not likely to deceive any 
educated person who had read a dozen pages in his 
Lectures consecutively. He had mainly in his mind 
and the very title* of his Lecture showed this the 
vocabulary, and the logical deductions of the School 
men. The impress, he said, of the technical or 
scholastic terms, and of the Aristotelian Logic, with 
which theologians and Schoolmen had made war 
against the heretics of different ages, stamped the later 
Creeds and the ecclesiastical formularies of all Churches, 
not excepting the Anglican, with an inferiority and in 
adequacy which distinguished them from the directly 
inspired language of Scripture. Creeds and Articles, 
he fully admitted, were necessary ; but it was because 
of the infirmity of human nature, and the need of some 
order and unity in each Church ; they could not claim 
equality with the propositions of Scripture. The three 
Creeds, and the Anglican Articles, he himself frankly 
received ; and since it would have been dishonest for 
him to reject them, he admitted and here his reason 
ing is curiously similar to that of Froude s quoted 
above that for him the Creeds contained things 
" necessary to salvation. 

But he refused to make the same assertion about 
other Christians. If men received the " facts " of 
Scripture, that is to say, not the mere historical facts, 
but all the statements of Scripture about the Father, 
the Son, the Holy Ghost, the Atonement, the Lord s 


Supper, Baptism, the Forgiveness of Sins, the Resur 
rection, the Judgment, he could not deny to them the 
name of Christians, although they might interpret these 
" facts," and draw inferences from these " facts," in a 
manner that seemed to him erroneous. No one can 
fail to see the application of these views to the ad 
mission of Dissenters to the Universities. They, as 
well as Anglicans, were all to be covered under the 
common term of " Bible Christians," differing widely 
among themselves in discipline, ceremonies, and per 
haps even in matters of faith, but not so differing that 
Churchmen could say to Nonconformists, " We deny 
your right to use the name of Christian, for you have 
no real part or lot in Christ." 

It is not our business to attack or defend this 
position. If it were, I should prefer to attack it as 
illogical, and to defend it as Anglican, charitable, and, on 
the whole, working fairly well. The briefest dialectic 
would show the inconsistency of the theory. But, 
against dialectic, common sense might make answer, 
for the framers of the Articles, " What would you 
have ? You must begin somewhere. Even in science 
you must assume your own existence and the existence 
of matter. What would you have liked us to begin 
with in religion attempting as we were to build up 
the National Church on the sixteenth century ? With 
Tradition ? It had been distorted and corrupted. 
With the Churches ? They had brought us to idola 
tries and purchaseable forgiveness of sins. We thought 
we would try the Bible nay, we will even admit that we 
practically based our new system on the English version 
of the Bible, as being a great religious reality appealing 
to the national conscience. Indirectly, we felt that we 
should be quite enough influenced by the Churches 


and Traditions, even though we rejected their direct 
influence. We therefore took the Bible as the legal 
basis for our National Church ; and, having regard to 
the mischief of Tradition, we would not impose even 
the Creeds themselves as having been once proved from 
Scripture, but we imposed them as to be believed 
because they may be proved from Scripture. And this 
is what we meant when, in our Twentieth Article, we 
gave to the Church authority in controversies of 
faith/ By this, we meant that the English Church 
should from time to time decide what may, and what 
may not, be legally taught by its Ministers, not because 
the Church is infallible, but because it must keep some 
kind of order. Thus we established an appeal to proof, 
and reason, and judgment, for all time, in the English 
Church. But the Bible was to remain our basis." 

How distasteful this " Bible Christianity " was to the 
Tractarians we know very well : but it does not seem 
so obvious how they could attack with controversial 
advantage an exposition that seemed generally in ac 
cordance with the first principles of the Anglican 
Articles. And, besides as appears from Hampden s 
Introduction subsequently appended to the second 
edition of his Lectures he went, in practice, a little 
nearer to the Tractarians and a little further from 
"Bible Christianity" than his strict system allowed. 
He protested, for example, that such a proposition as 
that Christ is truly God as well as man, and united the 
human and divine natures in one Person, is " nothing 
more than what has been already affirmed in Scrip 
ture ; " and he added " whatever can be thus argued 
from Scripture is as true as Scripture is true " mean 
ing by " thus argued," that kind of argument in which 
the conclusion ^necessarily follows from the premises. 


This was inconsistent. It would have been more con 
sistent to have said that the language of St. Paul, or 
St. John, or St. James, or St. Peter, or of our Lord 
Himself, in stating divine truths, was so immeasurably 
more adequate to the truths than any human interpre 
tative, or deductive, expressions of them, that the latter 
could not possibly be regarded as so true as the former ; 
the latter must always bear the stamp of inadequacy. 
Now what is inadequate must, to some extent, give a 
false impression and be untrue. All later ecclesiastical 
statements therefore about spiritual things ought to be 
declared by a strict a Bible Christian " to be not quite 
faithful to the truth, and indeed to be (relatively) un 
true. If Hampden had said that, he would have been 
consistent, and would have at once laid himself open 
to the cry, " Dr. Hampden declares that the Creeds 
are untrue? That he did not mean this, would not 
have prevented the outcry. That he did not say it, 
was at first sight, and to ordinary minds something 
of a difficulty. 

87. Newmans "Elucidations" 

But it was not a difficulty to Newman, " sitting up 
all night " at his Elucidations* He swooped at once 
on the enemy s weak point. Hampden had not been 
heterodox from the Anglican point of view ; but he 
had been pedantical or at least too learned for the 
non-resident members of an Oxford Convocation. He 
had used the word "facts" to mean spiritual facts, 
spiritual realities, as distinct from scholastic specu 
lations or theories. The very title of his lectures, 
" The Scholastic Philosophy considered in its relation 
to Christian Theology," might have prepared any 
ordinary reader for a somewhat scholastic use of terms : 


and Hampden, perhaps, had fondly imagined that any 
one who would take the trouble to read his lectures 
would also try to understand his meaning. Indeed for 
any one desiring to get information from them the 
sense of the term is patent. 

No fair critic could quote a page of Hampden s 
remarks on " facts," without doing one of two things. 
He must either do as Dean Church always does, put 
the word in inverted commas ; or else he must explain 
that Hampden meant to use the word in a philosophic 
sense, meaning spiritual realities. Doing either of 
these things, he might then, fairly enough, have scoffed 
at the pedantry of the new Regius Professor of 
Divinity whom the Government proposed to inflict on 
the Oxford youth. A third course was open, decidedly 
unfair to use the word " facts " without any warning 
as to its peculiar meaning, and with the result of 
puzzling all and misleading most. Newman did none 
of these things. He resorted to a fourth course, even 
more unfair than that last mentioned so unfair or else 
so careless, that, whatever may be the explanation, 
it must always form one of the most discreditable in 
cidents in his life. Stating Hampden s theory about 
" facts," he inserted the word " historical " ! 

This he does at the very outset ; which alone would 
suffice to make the whole of his pamphlet fatally 
fallacious even though he did not repeat the error. It 
is to use one of Newman s own controversial phrases 
which he used with such effect against Kingsley a 
veritable " poisoning of the wells." But, that the reader 
may have the means of judging for himself, I will 
quote the first nine lines of the Elucidations, simply 
italicizing, after Newman s controversial fashion, the 
important words : 


" Here first it is necessary to explain Dr. H. s views concerning 
Theological Statements. 

" He considers that the only belief necessary for a Christian, as 
such, is belief that the Scripture is the word of God ; that no state 
ment whatever, even though correctly deduced from the text of 
Scripture, is part of the revelation ; that no right conclusions about 
theological truth can be drawn from Scripture; that Scripture is 
a mere record of historical fads" 

Subsequently he again interpolates the misleading word 
in a passage in which Dr. Hampden is made to declare 
the Apostles Creed to be " defensible only when con 
sidered as a record of historical facts" Yet such 
further poisonings" were hardly necessary. The 
reader had been led hopelessly astray from the very 
beginning : and by inserting (for the third time) the 
words "historical and moral," but omitting the word 
" spiritual," the writer misleads him to the very end, 
till he reaches the following " conclusion? as he calls it, 
in which I again italicize the important words : 

" Conclusion. 

" Dr. H. s views then seem at length to issue in the following 
theory : that there is one and only one truth ; that that truth is the 
record of facts, historical and moral, contained in the text of Scrip 
ture : that whatever is beyond that text, even to the classifying of its 
sentences, is human opinion, and unrevealed ; that, though a 
thoughtful person cannot help forming opinions upon the Scripture 
record, and is bound to act upon and confess these opinions which 
he considers to be true, yet he has no right to identify his own 
opinion on any point, however sacred in itself, with the facts of the 
revealed history. ..." 

Besides thus putting the reader on a wrong scent by 

inserting what Hampden did not say, Newman also 

omits what Hampden did say ; with the result of 

making him appear to say what he did not say. Thus 

whereas Hampden is at some pains to distinguish 


the Scriptural doctrine of the Trinity from the techni 
cal language in which it has been expressed in later 
times, and describes " the truth of the Trinitarian 
doctrine " as emerging " from these mists of speculation " 
like land from fog Newman omits all this; inserts 
nothing but Hampden s attack on the "speculative" 
doctrine ; and then leaves the reader to infer that 
Hampden practically rejects the doctrine altogether. 
Commenting on these tactics, Arnold, in the Edinburgh 
Review, declared that " these omissions happen so un 
luckily to fall upon passages which would have altered 
the whole tone and character of the quotations, that 
there is no possibility of acquitting the compiler of 
deliberate dishonesty." I do not accept this judgment. 
But the reader may be glad to see Hampden s state 
ment in full, with the omitted portions bracketed : 

" [The examination then, I would observe, has forcibly impressed 
on my mind the conviction, that the principal, if not the only, diffi 
culties on the doctrine of the Trinity, arise from metaphysical con 
siderations from abstractions of our own mind, quite distinct from 
the proper, intrinsic, mystery of the holy truth in itself. Perplexities 
from the nature of Number, of Time, of Being ; in short, all those 
various conceptions of the mind which are its ultimate facts, and 
beyond which no power of analysis can reach; these, I think, the 
course of the present inquiry has tended to show, are our real 
stumbling-block, causing the wisdom of God to be received as the 
foolishness of man. These have forced themselves on the form of 
the Divine Mystery, and given it that theoretic air, that atmosphere 
of repulsion, in which it is invested. 

"The truth itself of the Trinitarian doctrine emerges from these 
mists of human speculation, like the bold, naked land, on which 
an atmosphere of fog has for awhile rested, and then been 
dispersed.] No one can be more convinced than I am, that there 
is a real mystery of God revealed in the Christian dispensation ; and 
that no scheme of Unitarianism can solve the whole of the pheno 
mena which Scripture records. But I am also as fully sensible, that 


there is a mystery attached to the subject, which is not a mystery of 

" Take, for instance, the notion of the Divine Unity. We are apt 
to conceive that the Unity must be understood numerically ; l that 
we may reason from the notion of Unity, to the properties of the 
Divine Being. But is this a just notion of the Unity of God ? [Is 
it not rather a bare fact, a limit of speculation, instead of a point of 
outset ? For how was it revealed in that system, in which it was 
the great leading article of divine instruction ? When Moses called 
upon the people : Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord : 
was it not a declaration, that Jehovah is not that host of heaven, 
that multiplicity of the objects of divine worship, which heathen 
idolatry has enshrined, but the God in heaven, and in the earth, and 
in the sea, not the Teraphim of domestic worship, but the Uni 
versal Governor, overshadowing all things with the ubiquarian 
tutelage of his Providence ?] Surely the revelation of the Divine 
Unity was not meant to convey to Israel any speculative notion of 
the oneness of the Deity ; but, practically, to influence their minds 
in regard to the superstitions from which they had been brought out. 
[It was no other than the command, Thou shalt have no other 
Gods but me ]." 

Although * deliberate dishonesty " is not the explana 
tion of these omissions, they are certainly somewhat 
unfair, even in themselves ; and all the more when con 
sidered in conjunction with Newman s effective com 
ment in which he declares that Hampden regards the 
doctrines of the Trinity and incarnation as merely 
" unrevealed opinions " and " pious deductions." He 
also catches at Hampden s antique phrase, u solve the 
phenomena which Scripture records," to suggest that 

1 " In Gregory Nazianzen, Orat. 45, p. 417, the question is proposed, If the 
nature of God is simple, how will it admit the number three ? &c. 

"Again, Integer, perfectus numerus Trinitatis est. Condi. Sirmiens. A.D. 357. 
Hilar. De Synodis, Opera, p. 466. Tlpbs Se /cai QVCTIK)) avdyKij /jiovaSa elvai 
5ua5os apx nv. Damasc. De Fid. Orthod. I. c. 5. 

The Valentinian system was a play of numbers. The Pythagorean part of 
Platonism, the philosophy of Numbers, it cannot be doubted must have exercised 
great influence over the minds of the early philosophic Christians. So also would 
the Jewish mystical application of Numbers, on the converts from Judaism." 


the lecturer regards them, not as realities but as 
"phenomena" i.e., mere appearances. Again, he de 
scribes his opponent as admitting that " there is some 
mystery," but what it is, " is not revealed "* ; Hampden 
declares, he says, that it is l< not scriptural or necessary 
to insist upon the numerical or real unity of the 
Supreme Being." Here, by the audacious insertion of 
" real," he altogether misses, or ignores, the fact that 
Hampden did insist upon the real unity, but protested 
that the merely numerical unity was not the " real " one, 
which was of a spiritual nature. What the Lecture is 
attacking, is not the doctrines, but the later metaphy 
sical expositions of the doctrines, as may be seen by its 
conclusion, in which Augustine is quoted as confessing 
himself unable to distinguish between " begotten " and 
" proceeding " when applied to the " Persons " in the 
Trinity : 

"The only ancient, only Catholic, truth is the Scriptural fact. 
Let us hold that fast in its depth and breadth in nothing extenuat 
ing, in nothing abridging it in simplicity and sincerity; and we 
can neither be Sabellians, or Tritheists, or Socinians. Attempt 
to explain, to satisfy scruples, to reconcile difficulties ; and the chance 
is, that, however we may disclaim the heterodoxy which lurks on 
every step of our path, we incur, at least, the scandal at the hands of 
others, whose piety, or prejudices, or acuteness, may be offended by 
our words. 

" I should hope the discussions in which we have now been en 
gaged, will leave this impression on the mind. Historically regarded 
they evidence the reality of those sacred facts of Divine Providence 
which we comprehensively denote by the doctrine of a Trinity in 
Unity. But let us not identify this reality with the theories couched 
under a logical phraseology. I firmly and devoutly believe that 
word, which has declared the Name of the Father, and of the Son, 
and of the Holy Ghost. But who can pretend to that exactness of 
thought on the subject, on which our technical language is based? 



Looking to the simple truth of Scripture, I would say, in the language 
of Augustine : Hac sew. Distinguere autem inter illam Generatio- 
nem et hanc Frocessionem, nestio, non valeo, non sufficiol Verius emm 
cogitatur Deus, quam dicitur, d verius est quam cogitatur.^ 

1 " Contra Maxinnn." III. p. 237. 4to. ed 
3 "De Trin. VII. c. 4." 



88. Which side was the more Anglican ? 

USING the word Tradition in its broadest sense, 
many who may not sympathize with Newman in this 
assault, may feel some sympathy with his cause. We 
may admire Hampden s charitableness, and yet doubt 
whether the Bible-Christian theory, however useful 
once, is well fitted for the present age. It worked 
well for the sixteenth century, but will it work for 
the twentieth ? The Reformers had to repair, or 
rebuild, and that in haste, a Church that was partly 
falling, partly already in ruins ; to patch, to touch up, 
prop, besides pulling down what seemed quite unsound 
and building the fragments into the restored edifice. 
For them, nothing could be better than to take the 
Bible as the basis for religious doctrine, and the whole 
nation (not the clergy merely) as the judge of such in 
terpretations of the Bible as any man must accept if he 
was to receive the authority of the nation with the view 
of publicly teaching religious truth in a national pulpit. 
They could not have said this ; for it would have been 
an anachronism. But this was what they did. 

But in 1832 it was time, perhaps, to go further 
than this. The hour had almost arrived when it was 

E 2 


needful to add that Christian Tradition is the handing 
on, from age to age, not only of the letter, but also of 
the interpretation of the Christian Scriptures, and 
this, not always without some change ; so that 
" interpreting " the Bible might include revising 
or re-editing the Bible. Hampden s views tended 
rather in the opposite direction. His marked distinc 
tion between the "facts," or realities, of Scripture, 
and the speculative deductions of interpreters, would 
lead us to lay more stress than ever on the former as 
the sole depository of religious truth. This would 
confirm many in the belief that every word of the Bible 
was so dictated to its writer by God Himself as to be 
spiritually or morally true if it related to matters of 
spiritual or moral truth ; and historically or scientifi 
cally true if it bore on facts of history or science. It 
may be urged that, as against the Tractarians, this 
view was not distinctively Hampden s : they held it as 
well, and Newman as decidedly as any of them. But 
they supplemented it so as to prepare the way for 
something different. They admitted that some of their 
most cherished beliefs could not be found in Scripture, 
unless Scripture were interpreted by Tradition. Prac 
tically therefore they did what Froude was prepared 
to do in theory as well as in practice they agreed 
that Tradition must be accepted, not only as the 
" witness " and " keeper," but also as the " interpreter," 
of Scripture. 

In this way they did good, though unintentionally. 
Some of them would have liked to confine " Tradition " 
to the first three or four centuries ; but when the 
principle was once admitted, this arbitrary limitation 
became difficult. Pressed by Rome, on the one side I 
and by rational Christians on the other, what answei 


could they make to the questions, " Why stop at the 
fourth century ? " " Why stop at the fourteenth or 
fifteenth?" " Why at the eighteenth?" Thus, we 
may imagine an ultra-Traditionist cordially accepting 
Tradition, but stating his views somewhat to this effect : 
" Tradition is doctrine so based on experience and 
reason as to obtain acceptance of a kind that does not 
necessitate constant appeal to private judgment ; and 
this must not be limited to any century nor to any 
people, nor to any class : not, for example, to Greeks or 
Romans of the later Empire, nor to the clergy merely. 
Even in the nineteenth century a tradition may be 
established ; and Englishmen and Germans may help 
to establish it. And the laity may play their part. 
Scripture must be interpreted by Tradition ; but inter 
preted must be used freely and amply so as to include 
more or less modification in the light of fresh dis 
coveries. Thus, some expressions that have been 
supposed to be literal or historical may have to be 
regarded as metaphorical, or poetical, or inaccurate ; 
others that were regarded as inaccurate may be shown 
to be literally true. Precepts, again, that may apply 
in the letter to one age, may apply in the spirit alone 
to another. And the moral judgments of some of the 
Scriptural writers may, under the enlightenment of the 
Holy Spirit, be perceived not only to be wrong for us 
now, but even to have been wrong for the writers 
then." As a preparation for such a view of the Scrip 
tures as this, the Tractarian attack on Dr. Hampden 
was indirectly not without some use. 

But it is altogether a different question whether the 
Tractarians as a whole, and Newman in particular, 
deserved to triumph on the purely Anglican merits of 
the case. To speak, first, of the Tractarians. They, 



on their side, might complain that, whereas Hampden 
had pledged himself to belief in the Athanasian Creed, 
he practically rejected it. For the Creed repeatedly 
says that whoever "will be saved " must " think about 
the Trinity " as the Creed dictates, and that this is 
" necessary to everlasting salvation " ; but Hampden 
declared that belief in this detailed and technical expo 
sition, although, in a way, " necessary " for his own 
salvation because he believes it and would be acting 
dishonestly if he professed to reject it yet is not 
11 necessary" for the salvation of those who, with equal 
honesty, cannot find these propositions either in Scrip 
ture, or in any conclusive deductions from Scripture. 
So far, the Tractarians appear to be the more orthodox. 
And perhaps they may also seem to be more consistent : 
for it certainly does seem absurd to say, "Such and 
such a belief is necessary for the salvation of those 
who believe it, but not necessary for the salvation of 
those who disbelieve it." 

Yet Hampden would have a defence, too, and, from 
the Anglican point of view, not a bad one. As to 
orthodoxy, he might reply that, in the Anglican Church, 
the Anglican reasons given for the acceptance of the 
Athanasian Creed indicate an ultimate appeal to Scrip 
ture ; and that plain and simple people who heartily 
accept all Scripture, but cannot even understand the 
meaning of the Athanasian Creed ; much less, under 
stand the proof of it from Scripture ; least of all, find it 
in Scripture cannot be supposed to be condemned to 
" perish everlastingly " on account of their inability. 
More forcibly still, he might argue that the Anglican 
Church claims no more infallibility for herself, even as 
to " matters of faith," than she allows to the Churches 
of Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome ; so that, even 


when she says to her members, " Believe this, or perish 
everlastingly," she always adds sotto voce, " But, re 
member, I may be in error as to any matter of faith, 
and therefore as to this." Hence, at the worst he 
might argue all Anglican threats of damnation are 
always to be taken as merely conditional or provisional. 
Besides, as against the Tractarian leaders, if he had 
access to the cabinet in which Newman kept Froude s 
letters, Hampden might have said that his position 
with reference to " things necessary to salvation " was 
precisely the same, in principle, as that of Froude. 
For Froude had said that everything that a man 
honestly believed was " necessary " for his (the 
believer s) salvation, and nothing was " necessary, "for 
kirn, that he could not honestly believe ; but that the 
Church might impose certain beliefs as necessary 
terms of Communion. This," Hampden might have 
said, " is precisely my view. Only, whereas Froude 
would have accepted every clause in the Athanasian 
Creed as necessary in this sense, and would have 
waived the Articles, I, being an Anglican, prefer to 
waive some of the Athanasian clauses and abide by 
the Anglican Articles : and this I conceive to be, from 
the Anglican point of view, the more orthodox of the 
two positions." 

This seems plausible. Nevertheless there remains 
the obstinate fact that every Anglican minister who 
takes Froude s and Hampden s view of these appa 
rently uncharitable expressions in the Athanasian 
Creed does so explain them as to explain them away. 
It would be better to disuse the words than to use 
them thus. On the whole, let us say that, as between 
Hampden and the Tractarians, the Anglican merits of 
the case are about evenly balanced. 


89. Did the Victor fight fairly ? 

But we can hardly say the same as between Hamp- 
den and Newman. Of these two, there can be no 
doubt that the former was by far the more faithful to 
the spirit of the Anglican Articles ; and the latter 
ought to have at least tempered the fierceness of his 
attack by recognizing this. Newman must have been 
conscious that his Via Media depended upon an ability 
in his new Anglican Church to say to Dissenters, " We 
are, in matters of faith, practically speaking, infallible ; 
within our pale, you are safe ; step outside it, and we 
cannot call you even Christians." But he knew also 
that this was totally antagonistic to the Article which 
declared that General Councils have erred and may 
err "in matters pertaining to God." So well did he 
know this that we shall presently find him explaining 
away that Article by asserting that it did not apply to 
General Councils called together in the name of Christ- 
an evasion so gross that even his devoted follower 
W. G. Ward could not accept it, nor has Dean 
Church found himself able to defend it. 

Moreover, even in the haste in which he composed 
his Elucidations, it was unpardonable in him to take 
advantage of Hampden s disparagement of the meta 
physical and numerical expositions of the doctrine of 
the Trinity in order to suggest that his opponent had 
no practical belief in the doctrine at all. His own 
experience of the results of pondering over these 
mysteries ought to have made him more charitable. 
When he was writing and re-writing The Arians, he 
himself had been "fussed" and "fagged" in those 
labyrinthine speculations. To such straits had he been 


driven that he hardly ventured to make an assertion, 
and had confessed to a friend that he should resort to 
" hypothetical " in dealing with the Incarnation and 
the Trinity : " your if" he had said, " is a great peace 
maker." Did it become one living in a house so 
transparently fragile to be so prominent and so violent 
in throwing stones at a fellow-theologian who honestly 
confessed that, though he believed the doctrine in a 
spiritual sense, he could not accept all the technical 
phraseology with which it had been enveloped by a 
polemical scholasticism borrowing the language of 
Aristotle to confute heresy ? 

Still, Newman s flagrant fault is the controversial 
unfairness with which he poisoned the minds of those 
who read his Elucidations by the insertions and 
omissions which have been mentioned above. Some 
allowance must be made, perhaps, for the indirect effect 
of political feeling at Oxford in connection with the 
proposed admission of Dissenters to the University, and 
for Newman s sense of " provocation." Certainly, in 
these days, it would be thought shocking to quote ex 
tracts from an opponent and to omit passages without 
inserting marks of omission : yet Newman, in two con 
secutive quotations, makes three^ such unnoticed 
omissions (I have not searched for more). Yet even 
for that polemical age the collective injustice of 
Newman s Elucidations was too gross. What Arnold 
said of it, has been quoted above, imputing 
" deliberate dishonesty " to the author ; but Arnold 
was not only a theological opponent but also person 
ally unacquainted with Newman s character. Far 
more surprising is the testimony of Whately. 
Partisan though he may have been, up to certain 
limits, Whately was nevertheless a man in whom the 


logical element was more potent that any polemics ; 
and he was pre-eminently just. If Newman, by fair 
logical measures, could have convicted. Hampden of 
heresy, Whately might have extenuated the fault, or 
censured the criticism as bitter and spiteful : but he 
could hardly have brought against Hampden s 
opponents, and against Newman in particular, the 
following accusations : 

" A pure and holy man is one who fasts twice in the week but 
neglects the weightier matters of the law, judgment and justice and 
mercy. I think the holy men who garbled and distorted 
Hampden s Bampton Lectures with the deliberate design of holding 
him up to the hatred and persecution of unthinking bigots, are the 
genuine descendants of those Roman Emperors who dressed up the 
early Christians in the skins of beasts and then set dogs at them to 
worry them to death." 

And again in a letter to Hawkins in 1843 : 

" It is several years now since the Elucidations of Hampden was 
published ; and I cannot conceive anyone either writing or reading 
that tissue of deliberate and artful misrepresentations (comparing it 
with Hampden s own volume) without perceiving unless he were 
a downright fool that it consisted of the suppressio veri so con 
trived as to amount to the suggestio falsi the kind of lies which 
Swift justly calls the worst, a lie guarded. The author and the 
approvers of such a work (as many as were acquainted with 
Hampden s) could have nothing to learn from the Slanderer 

Archdeacon Hare is another witness, not indeed 
against the Elucidations, but for the value and 
general orthodoxy of Hampden s work. He wrote 
twelve years after the controversy, when people had 
time to review it coolly ; and he speaks of it as 
"learned and thoughtful," and as distinguished by 
" philosophical candour and sobriety." Hampden s use 
of the word "facts" he regards as " one of the chief 
causes of the suspicion he has incurred " ; and he says 


that " in preaching to a common congregation " it 
would have been very injudicious to use such a 
term in any .other than its ordinary sense ; but, 
"as he was preaching to the University of Oxford, he 
thought he might assume that, notwithstanding their 
adherence to the philosophy of Aristotle, they would 
understand the Baconian use of the word which the 
context in several places plainly sets forth " : and then 
he quotes from the Lectures a passage about those 
sacred facts of Divine Providence which we compre 
hensively denote by the doctrine of a Trinity in 
Unity." Proceeding to discuss some of the documents 
circulated by Hampden s enemies in 1836 as sum 
maries, or as condemnations, of his lectures, he conclu 
sively shows their unfairness, and charges them with 
" effrontery," " clamour on the part of the accusers, 
ignorance on that of their hearers," describes some of 
their propositions as " dishonest," and goes through 
the detailed process of " untying one knot of falsehood 
after another." This evidence is rendered important 
by the character and learning of the writer, his detach 
ment from the time and scene of the original con 
flict, and his careful study of the Lectures. The 
reader will note that, although he makes no mention 
of the Elucidations, he indirectly condemns it by 
censuring its chief fault, that is, the misrepresentation 
of Hampden as having said that Scripture is a mere 
record of historical facts. 

Francis Newman (who tells us that he, too, had 
been misled by his brother s Elucidations] adds an 
interesting story about Samuel Wilberforce and his 
change of opinion as to the merits of the controversy. 
About a dozen years after he had been attacked as a 
Professor, it was Hampden s fate to rouse a second 


controversy as a prospective bishop. Samuel VVilber- 
force, then Bishop of Oxford, came up on a visit to 
Hawkins, prepared to listen favourably to a protest 
from the clergy against Hampden s consecration and 
this, simply on the same grounds on which, as a curate, 
he had voted against Hampden in 1836. He had 
read Newman s Elucidations. It had seemed con 
clusive. There appeared no need to read the 
Lectures, and he had never read them. In answer to 
the Provost s remonstrance, he said that he could trust 
Newman for the facts and quotations, and that they 
spoke for themselves ; there was no answering them. 
But he was persuaded to spend an evening over the 
Lectures, and that evening convinced him that he had 
been grossly deceived. 

90. The result 

If this was the case with two men of such ability and 

opportunities for getting information, we may easily 

understand that a good many of the country clergy 

who flocked up to Oxford to support the Church of 

England by voting against heresy, were not only 

deceived at the time but never undeceived. Was it 

in accordance with human nature to buy and read an 

expensive book, and what might seem to most of them 

a dull book a book of 548 pages, written by an 

enemy when they could read all of it that was 

necessary for their purpose in a pamphlet of 47 pages, 

containing the objectionable passages in large, clear, 

print and in separate paragraphs ; with a summary 

of them, in still larger and clearer print ; beginning 

with an introduction which told them that the 

Regius Professor of Divinity whom Lord Melbourne 

intended to inflict on the University, had stated the 


Scripture to be " a mere record of historical facts," 
and ending with the following peroration : ? 

"What may be the issue of the present anxious conflict of opinion 
in this place, He will order according to His wisdom, who has pro 
mised that all things shall work together for good for those who love 
Him. But should it end in the appointment of Dr. H. to the theo 
logical Chair, he* believes that ten years hence, those who are in no 
way protesting against his appointment now, would, if then alive, feel 
that they had upon them a responsibility greater than has been in 
curred by Members of this University for many centuries." 

The result was what might have been expected. 
Hampden indeed became Regius Professor, for the 
Government would not give way. They did not 
intend to allow Oxford to exclude Dissenters for ever, 
and they therefore refused to accept the resignation 
which he placed in their hands. But, as far as Oxford 
was concerned, the Tractarians gained a complete 
victory. The Elucidations elucidated Hampden 
most effectively, and this, not only for the country 
clergy but for the residents also *. The Heads of 
Houses brought in a proposal to stigmatize the new 
Professor by depriving him of his vote in the choice of 
Select Preachers till the University should otherwise 
determine. The veto of the Proctors in March served 
only to delay their triumph ; and in the following May 
Hampden was formally humiliated by the splendid 
majority of 474 to 94. I call the triumph a Tractarian 
one for it was theirs by right. Numerically, the High 
and Dry, and the Evangelicals, constituted, of course, 
the larger portion of the victorious band ; to which 
the Tractarians sent but a small contingent. But the 
inspiring force had proceeded from the Tractarian 
Leader. The hands were the hands of the orthodox ; 


but the voice that had moved them was that of the 
author of the Elucidations. 

No rational person, reviewing the facts, can maintain 
that the victor had fought fairly. But it does not 
follow that he was guilty of the " deliberate dis 
honesty " imputed to him by Arnold and Whately. 
There was very little, if any, more unfairness in the 
Elucidations than in the Essay on Ecclesiastical 
Miracles ; and in both cases it sprang from mental, 
rather than from moral deficiency. Subtle and keen 
though he usually was, there were seasons when 
Newman lost all patience, all steadiness of thought, all 
power of suspending judgment. This was always a 
fault of his when he worked under unusual pressure. 
At such times he simply could not see his adversary s 
position. Probably he had not read Hampden s 
Lectures with any attention till he looked at them in 
order to detect heresy in the newly-appointed Pro 
fessor. As he broke down in the Schools as an under 
graduate, and again as an examiner, and then, once 
more in his Arians, and afterwards in his Essay 
on Ecclesiastical Miracles, and after that in his 
Essay on Doctrinal Development ; and, in each case, 
through excessive haste, and inadequate steadiness in 
persistent preparation, so here : he broke down with a 
mental rather than a moral collapse, succumbing to 
theological prejudice, and party spirit, and to the 
excitement of consciously championing what seemed 
to be a noble cause, "sitting up all night" and trying 
to summarize a learned, thoughtful, and scholarlike 
work of more than 500 pages, in such a way as to 
ruin the prospects of its author. But he was not 
"dishonest," nor was he what Whately suggests as 
an alternative a. " fool." The true explanation, in 


the main, of this and some other of Newman s aberra 
tions, was given by Sir James Stephen, as follows : 

"As for Newman himself, I am sorry that his integrity should be 
impugned. I am convinced that a more upright man does not exist. 
But his understanding is essentially illogical and inveterately imagi 
native ; and I have reason to fear that he labours under a degree of 
cerebral excitement, which unfits him for the mastery of his own 
thoughts and the guidance of his own pen." 

Not a week after the Elucidations had appeared, 
Newman wrote to Bowden : " I suppose I shall soon 
hear something from Hampden in answer to my pam 
phlet though that must be in other words, in answer 
to himself, since I do but quote him." This is, surely, 
a convincing proof that Newman was not conscious 
that he had done his adversary any injustice. Yet 
that he had violated some of the most obvious rules of 
literary controversy, must be apparent to all who now 
give five minutes to the dispassionate consideration of 
the question. The inference is, that on questions of 
this kind, Newman s conscience did not guide him 
rightly. He obeyed it, so far as he heard it ; but 
either its voice was silenced by other voices within 
him, or, if not, then his conscience itself led him wrong, 
being what he calls somewhere " a sort of bad con 
science." Morally, as well as intellectually, neither 
of these alternatives appears to represent a wholly 
satisfactory state of mind ; for moral honesty cannot 
say to intellectual dishonesty, " Thus far shalt thou go 
and no farther." But where " cerebral excitement " 
steps in, there irresponsibility begins ; and we gladly 
acquit Newman of the tremendous charge expressed in 
Whately s reprobation, by recognizing that in this and 
other cases, in spite of his skill in logical fence, he was 
incapable of reasoning fairly upon evidence, when he 
was under the influence of strong desire. 



91. "A Cardinal Point of Time" 

" MARCH, 1836," says Newman, reviewing his own 
career, "is a cardinal point of time. 5 Among other 
important events which clustered round that " cardinal 
point," he mentions his mother s death which took 
place in the following May. Its suddenness, and his 
consequent inability to exchange last words with her, 
add to the pathos with which he deplores the recent 
estrangement between them : 

" What has been to me distressing in my work, is, that it has been 
one of the causes which kept me from being much with my mother 
lately. But there was another cause. I mean of late years my 
mother has much misunderstood my religious views, and considered 
she differed from me ; and she thought I was surrounded by admirers, 
and had everything my own way ; and in consequence I, who am 
conscious to myself I never thought anything more precious than her 
sympathy and praise, had none of it." 

The editor of the Letters appends a note of explana 
tion. Mrs. Newman, she says, was uniformly kind and 
amiable to all her children and to their friends ; but 
the stir and tone of the Movement might well disturb 
her inner thoughts. She was not constituted to throw 
herself into it, either by temperament or by circum- 


stance ; and she could not give her son what he missed 
her sympathy : " He sorrowfully confesses to his 
sister, looking back, that his manner, under the change, 
might sometimes ill express what was in his heart." 

Deprived of Froude, and now of his mother, with 
one sister married, and the other to be married a few 
months afterwards, Newman must have felt alone 
indeed. Yet he assures his younger sister she must 
not think of him as lonely : u God intends me to be 
lonely ; He has so framed my mind that I am in a 
great measure beyond the sympathies of other people 
and thrown upon Himself. .... God, I trust, will 
support me in following whither He leads." Similarly 
to Harriett: "at the worst", he says, he is but returning 
to the state in which he was before he knew Froude. 
" Ever since that time"* he had learned to throw himself 
upon himself; and, after all, life is short; it is "better 
to be pursuing what seems God s will than to be look 
ing after one s own comfort " ; "I am learning more 
than hitherto to live in the presence of the dead this 
is a gain which strange faces cannot take away." How 
much this feeling of communion with the departed had 
been growing in Newman may be seen from the only 
two poems of 1835 the last until we come to the 
Roman period both of which bring before us the in 
tercession of the Dead for the Living. There can be no 
doubt whose voice Newman was henceforth to hear 
most distinctly amid all the earthly din and uproar of 
the conflict of the Tracts : it was that of the man whose 
Breviary assigned to him by a chance utterance of 
some friend which he accepted as a message from 
heaven lay always on his study table destined to 
lie there for half a century, to the possession of which 
he attached such importance that, besides minutely 



describing the incident in the Apologia, he records it 
in the Letters, along with his mother s death, as one of 
nine important events of this critical year : " my 
knowing and using the Breviary." 

From his youth, Newman took a pleasure in being 
alone. But whatever was pleasurable he generally 
suspected as a snare. Hence we might have supposed 
that he might sometimes regard his love of solitude as 
a temptation to egotism, self-exaltation, or theological 
hardness. But the precedents of saintly solitude in the 
ancient Church besides the deep and bitter pain at 
tending this new solitude would dispel such doubts. 
Thus, therefore, confirmed and hardened in his unsym 
pathetic detachment from the common world by the 
belief that " God intended it," he plunged with fresh 
ardour into the battle for the Church. Everything 
was full of promise. The skirmishing of the Tracts 
having thinned the enemy s ranks, it was now proposed 
to complete their rout by the heavier artillery of larger 
treatises. Attacks were to go on from all quarters. 
The Lyra Apostolica was to be printed ; a Library of 
the Fathers to be started at Pusey s suggestion, but 
Newman was to help, and to write the preface ; Hur- 
rell Froude s Remains too were to be edited by Keble 
and himself ; and he was also laboriously working at a 
series of lectures which was to be published next year 
under the title of The Prophetical Office of the Church, 
viewed relatively to Romanism and Popular Protes 

The confidence he felt at this time is described in a 
passage of the Apologia which records the beginning 
of the Library of the Fathers. It was a confidence 
not in anything that was, but in what was to be, in " thi 
event." He did not very well know what the Father: 


would be found to teach ; but he felt that the Church 
of England was substantially founded on them. There 
could come no harm from the project. If there was 
anything in the Fathers of a startling character, that 
would be only for a time ; it might be explained ; or it 
might be altogether on the Anglican side ; in any case 
" it could not lead to Rome." These views he ex 
pressed in the preface to the first volume, in which he 
bade his readers go forth hopefully and not indulge in 
criticism till they knew more about them ; they must 
"look forward steadily and hopefully to the event," 
when, as they trusted, all that was inharmonious in the 
details would at length be practically smoothed. It is 
this perfect confidence in the not-yet-existent, which 
led him to make the large concessions which we shall 
soon find him making to Romanism in the conflict 
which he was beginning to wage with it. // could not 
lead to Rome ; and the present condition of the English 
Church seemed to him so ultra-protestant that to 
Romanize it a little, or even a good deal, could not but 
do good. To use his own metaphor, " no harm could 
come of bending the crooked stick the other way in 
the process of straightening it ; it was impossible to 
break it." 

92. Rose asks for an explanation 

Yet when Newman sat down quietly to review the 
grounds of his confidence not for an enemy who might 
be lawfully answered u according to his folly ", but for 
ja perplexed friend he lets us see the weaker side 
j of his operations. Already, we perceive, he had before 
his mind at least two " events," and his plans and 
tactics suffered a little from distraction between the two. 

F 2 


He was contemplating two positions, one inside the 
Church of England, and one outside it ; and he wished 
to be ready for either. 

Another obstacle prevented him from clearly realiz 
ing his views. Ever since, if not before, the beginning 
of the Tractarian Movement, he had used words "eco 
nomically " or tactically ; asking for example, more 
than he expected to get, in the hope of getting more 
than he would have otherwise got ; and sometimes 
choosing phrases rather to frighten adversaries than 
to express exactly his own meaning. Hence, of course, 
when he came to reconsider why he had said this or 
that, he could not always remember whether it was 
because he meant what he said, or for some other 
reason. All this appears in a letter of this date to 
Rose, the Editor of the British Magazine, who had 
expressed uneasiness about two papers of Newman s 
entitled " Home Thoughts Abroad," which had been 
published in that and the preceding month. No. 2 ha 
been sent to Rose for publication nine months before 
It was to appear so Newman had informed Froud 
in September, 1835 " directly Rose finds room " fo 
it. This did not convey the truth ; which, in Froude 
illness, Newman perhaps desired to conceal from bin 
Rose had written in June, 1835 about No. 2, " As yo 
will certainly seem to good Protestants to leave our 
Church in an awkward position at the end of your 
present paper, would it not be well to give the answer 
which you are about to do to the difficulty, along with 
the difficulty itself to give, in short, No. 3 with No, 
2 ?" This was a polite way of declining No. 2 without 
No. 3 : and though Newman told Froude there wa 
" not much in" No. 2, we find Keble thinking th 
the Roman view of " development " in it was 


" plausible" that he proposed to " tackle " it in some 
Bampton Lectures. 

At last, in 1836, the " difficulty " and the "answer" 
had appeared in consecutive numbers of the British 
Magazine; but apparently the Editor thought the 
Anglican, so much weaker than the Roman article, 
that he wrote* to Newman to ask for some explanation. 
Like Pusey, Rose seems to have regarded the Trac- 
tarian campaign as defensive "stationary" Pusey 
called it and he did not enter into, or understand, 
Newman s determination to go forward, he knew not 
exactly whither. He wanted to know Newman s 
definite goal. His contributor seemed to have abso 
lutely killed Protestantism, and to have raised up on 
the other side an imposing figure of a Church of 
Authority which many of his readers would identify 
with Rome : what did it all mean ? To take one 
instance, they had started with the understanding that 
the Anglican Liturgy was not to be altered ; yet 
Newman was proposing in " Home Thoughts " to re 
vive the Romanizing forms retained in King Edward s 
First Prayer-Book but subsequently discarded : how 
was this to be explained ? 

Newman s reply (as set forth in rough notes) claims 
that he must not be thought inconsistent if at different 
times he gives different reasons for his published state 
ments. He seems to have before himself, he says, 
"vast and complicated truths," and "perhaps I have 
not realized to myself in the simplest form the end or 
object which I feel"- a curious use of "feel" which 
however (no doubt) exactly expressed Newman s 
meaning, viz., that he was groping (or "feeling") not 
seeing. There were, he goes on to say, two pros 
pective dangers ; the first, from Rome, on the subject 


of Church authority, power, claims, &c. ; as to which, 
half-solutions would no longer suffice ; they must " fore 
stall objections and their answers. 7 * On this point, 
using language somewhat less confident than that 
quoted above, " it could not lead to Rome " he says, 
" There appears to be that in the Church of Rome, as 
it is at present, which seems utterly to preclude our 
return to her." (Let the reader note, by the way, these 
ominously cautious qualifications, " appears" "as it 
is at present," and " seems " which are by no means 
neutralized by the " utterly.") The second danger he 
describes as a levelling " crash," i.e. disestablishment 
for which he would provide by causing the Church to 
attract the middle classes and not merely the aris 
tocracy and the poor through the aristocracy. I 
neither of these dangers should occur, he points oul 
that his theory would be dismissed as a dream, anc 
could do no harm ; but if either fear were realised 
his sketch might at least suggest some remedy ; anc 
even though it might be ineffectual against the seconc 
danger, yet, as to the former, if something of the 
sort is not drawn out against the Romanist, surely 
he will puzzle us." 

As to the alteration of the Liturgy which he hac 
suggested, he does not deny that this was inconsistent 
as Rose had pointed out, with the tone of the early 
Tracts ; but in one at least of these Tracts it had been 
stated that the reason for being contented with things 
as they were, was that every one had " crotchets o 
his own." Well, his object was, in a sense, to keep 
things as they were. The only way to stop the desire 
of the innovators to alter the Baptismal Service was 
" to talk of King Edward s First Book." By throwing 
out threats of this kind, they might be of use to men 


high in the Church. Already they had forced their 
enemies to take a lower tone, to drop their aggressive 
innovations, and to defend themselves. The great 
principle he would ever maintain, was, to remain 
satisfied with what they had, and to contend for that ; 
but, if once they were dislodged from their existing 
position, to try to get a better. In conclusion, he 
touches on " excitements." Rose absolutely dis 
believed in them and regarded them as a cause of 
"certain mischief" in propagating religion. Newman 
was far too much alive to the infirmities of human 
nature to accept a doctrine that would have been fatal 
to the Via Media, which he had sketched for himself 
as likely to compete successfully with Rome. But he 
rests his defence of them on Scripture. "As to 
( excitements it is a very large subject : but I do not 
think the utter repression of these is the Gospel way 
of dealing with them. The Roman Catholic Church 
stops the safety-valve of excitement of Reason ; we 
that of the excitement of Feeling. In consequence Ro 
manists turn infidels, and Anglicans turn Wesleyans." 

Perhaps the most interesting sentence in this long 
letter is one that is cancelled. It occurs immediately 
after the passage in which he protests that the Romanist 
"will assuredly puzzle" them, if something is not 
done of the kind which he has attempted in " Home 
Thoughts," to anticipate and answer the Roman objec 
tions. Then come these words : "\_Iconceive I suggest an 
answer, I feel myself to do so, to his strong point s~\ ". 

" Conceive," "suggest," "feel," and then the can 
celling how characteristic, this, of one who does not 
believe in words ! At this very time Newman was 
busy with the Roman controversy finding it "hard 
head-work," we are told writing, cancelling, and 


revising his Lectures on Romanism and Popular 
Protestantism, which he is said to have re-written 
some five times. For a man who feels that the 
reasons he puts before the public are not the rea 
sons that move him, so that their cogency or want 
of cogency, with himself, is no criterion at all as to 
their effect on others, it was dramatically fit and right 
that he should at first feel that he had crushed his 
Roman antagonist; then, that he should " conceive" 
that he had at least "suggested" an answer to his 
objections ; and finally, that he should feel quite un 
certain about the whole matter, and therefore cancel 
the sentence. Besides this general haze of uncertainty, 
the consciousness of two objects the one, to contend 
for the present position, the other, to contend for a 
better must have conduced to bewilderment, at times, 
both in himself, and in those who followed him and 
strove to understand him. For, in " talking of King 
Edward s First Book," if he had regard to the first 
object, he could say, " My object is only to frighten 
the Evangelicals ; I do not really aim at restoring the 
First Book " : but, next day, perhaps, in a different 
mood, anticipating the second object and the "better 
position," he would say " Yes, it expresses what I am 
really aiming at. I want to bend the stick backwards. 
Edward s First Book is just what I desire." This 
was scarcely a position where he could long stand 
still ; he was bound to be moving towards the "better 
position " ; and the death of Rose was destined, before 
long, to increase the rate of progress. 

93. "The Forgiveness of Sins" 

Among the events of this " cardinal point of time," 
might very well have been included the circulation 


and discussion of Pusey s Tract, of which Newman s 
summary has been quoted above. " Nothing," he 
said in 1876, "had had greater weight than Pusey s 
Tract on Baptism." 

Its effect is manifest in the first sermon preached 
by Newman after his mother s death, and entitled 
" Peace and Joy amid Chastisement." Gloom, logical 
and consistent, pervades almost the whole discourse. 
It declares that a man is not "to take up a notion 
that God has forgiven him," if he has repented of a 
sin and besought forgiveness, and made such amend 
ment as he can. "Who is to forgive him ? How is 
he to know it ? No, I see no certainty for him. . . . 
Memory tells him that he has had sins upon his con 
science ; he has no warrant that they are not there 
still ; and what has come, what is to come of them, 
what future consequences they imply, is unknown to 
him." If a man brings " penury" on himself by past 
extravagance he is to consider that 

"God has not absolutely forgiven the sin past ; here is a proof He 
has not, He is punishing it. It will be said, He has forgiven it as 
to its eternal consequences. Where is the proof of this ? all we see 
is, that He is punishing it. If we argue from what we see, He has 
not forgiven it at all. Here a man will say, How can He be gracious 
to me in other ways, unless He has been gracious so as to forgive ? 
Is not forgiveness the first step in grace ? " 

To this as one might have thought irresistible 
objection, Newman replies, " It was, when we were 
baptized ; whether it is so since, must be decided from 
Scripture." And he urges that reason, as well as 
Scripture, is against the objection : 

"Nothing is more compatible with reason, judging from our ex 
perience of life, than that we should have God s present favour and 


help without full pardon for the past. Supposing, for instance, a 
child has disobeyed us, and, in disobeying has met with an accident. 
Do we at once call him to account, and not wait awhile till he is in 
a fit state to be spoken to, and when we can better decide whether 
or no what has befallen him be a sufficient punishment ? " 

The parallel is no parallel. The offender, in the 
former case, is supposed to have repented, to have 
expressed penitence, and to have made what amend 
ment is possible. In order to constitute a true 
parallel, we should have to suppose that the child 
had done the same thing : and then, what parent is 
there who would not at once say, " I forgive you. Put 
away all thought of my being any longer angry : I 
may have hereafter to do certain things for your good, 
to prevent your offending again ; and these things may 
be what the world calls punishment and may make the 
world think I am angry, but you must not think so. 
You are forgiven." But Newman seems incapable 
of seeing that perfect forgiveness is compatible with 
the infliction of punishment ; and that remission of 
punishment is merely a sign and not a necessary 
sign at all, not a sign to the spiritual, but only to the 
worldly of the remission of sin. In this confusion 
of thought, he naturally gives up the parallel, almost 
as soon as he has suggested it, by telling us that we 
know nothing about God s method of forgiveness, 
except as it is taught in Scripture : 

" No exact parallel can be found. We do not even know what is 
meant by saying that God, who sees the end from the beginning, par 
dons at one time rather than at another. We can but take divine 
truth as it is given us. We know there is one time at least when He 
pardons persons whom (sic) He foresees will afterwards fall away and 
perish ; I mean, the time of Baptism." 

Then, step by step, he destroys the last hope that 


God will ever, in this life, fully forgive, or restore fully 
to the filial position, any child of His who ever com 
mits a sin after the unconscious period of babyhood, 
when the infant received "its first step in grace." 
First, he cuts away any hope that we might base upon 
repentance. Scripture, he admits, declares that those 
who repent shall be forgiven ; but he replies, what is 
repentance ? If we are distressed, that is the work of 
God s Spirit, but does not show that we have duly 
repented. Next, as to the efficacy of faith, it must 
be " living faith," and that can only be ascertained by 
works ; and what works can possibly bring the assur 
ance that our faith is able to do this great thing ? If 
men say that "they have an assurance," they are 
asked, where does Scripture tell them that such an 
" assurance " comes from God ? If they quote " Ask, 
and ye shall receive," the retort is, " Where is it said 
that we shall gain by once asking ? " Do we not say in 
the Church Service that " the remembrance of our sins 
is grievous, the burden of them is intolerable " ? 
and " is not this to confess that we are not sure of their 
pardon ? Else why are they a burden ? " So at last he 
brings us to this conclusion, that, as long as we live, 
we must bear a burden of sin which will increase to our 
life s end, and that we cannot but feel insecure as to 
the eternal issue. We are " at present most happily 
circumstanced, in the midst of God s choicest gifts,"- 
he means, by this, " church privileges " " but with 
evil behind us and that, through our guilt, ever in 
creasing and a judgment before us." We say, " For 
give us all that is past" : 

"Does not that past extend back through our whole life up to 
infancy ? If so, up to the day of our death, up to the last awful 
celebration of this Blessed Sacrament in our sick chamber, we con- 


fess that our sins all through our life are unforgiven, whatever be the 
effect which, we know, cannot be little, of the grace of that 1 ordi 
nance and the absolution therein pronounced over us. ... We are 
to be judged at the Last Day, and receive the things done in the 
body, whether they be good or bad. Our sins will be then had in 
remembrance ; therefore they are not forgiven here." 

To some extent, the letter of the Prayer Book jus 
tifies these views. Public worship must adapt itself to 
all sorts and conditions of men, and to all sorts of 
moods and thoughts as well. And the Anglican con 
fessions of sin do undoubtedly rather a little neglect the 
rest of the flock to suit themselves to the hundredth 
sheep which has strayed far away into the wilderness. 
Therein they follow the highest Example. And even 
the best of men are so far conscious of deviations from 
the path, that when they speak of their lapses, they 
must always feel, for the moment, a tingling of shame 
and a bitterness of regret. But although far too 
sparingly our Church teaches us also that throughout 
its services we are to be " unfeignedly thankful," and 
to feel conscious of, and grateful for, our " redemption." 
There is nothing, therefore, Pharisaic or arrogant in 
feeling (even at the moment when we speak of the 
" misery " of our sinful state and of the " intolerable" 
burden of our sins) that, thank God, the old misery is 
a thing of the past ; that Christ has healed our trouble 
and is bearing our burdens. 

In such a mixture of sorrow and thankfulness there 
may well be many different shades of feeling. But 
assuredly none ought to feel that, because we are 
reaping the consequences of our sins, therefore God 
has not forgiven them. If poverty, or disease, or loss 
of influence, or disgrace, falls on us as the natural con 
sequence of our evil-doing, surely a Christian may 


await such penalties with more than resignation, and 
ought to feel that it is a dishonour to the loving-kind 
ness of God to suppose that His gracious infliction of 
these wholesome penalties is a " proof," or even in the 
least degree a suggestion (to one who believes in the 
Gospel), that He " has not absolutely forgiven the sin 
past," or that his sins " all through life are unforgiven." 
To those, on the other hand, who accept the conse 
quences of their sins, not as tokens of God s love, but 
as a " proof" that their offences are remembered vindic 
tively against them, it must be hard indeed to feel 
" peace and joy amid chastisement ;" and the perora 
tion of this sermon, in which the preacher seems to be 
trying to work his audience up to a feeling of joy, 
sounds somewhat hollow and contains an example 
(almost unique in Newman) of something approximat 
ing to bathos. He bids his hearers glorify the Lord 
God in the fires of chastisement : u They may circle us 
but they cannot really touch us ; they may threaten, 
but they are as yet restrained." First, cannot really 
touch, and then, as a climax, are as yet restrained ! 
What does this mean but, " they cannot hurt us ; or 
rather, I should say, they do not hurt us at present " 
with the obvious inference that they may not be " re 
strained," and may " hurt us " to-morrow ! No, in his 
heart, Newman could not but feel that this doctrine of 
the non-forgiveness of sins, Patristic and orthodox 
though it might be, brought a new terror into life, a 
new disgust at " half solutions," and made it all the 
more imperative to seek for that " better position " 
where at least might be ensured the most definite and 
efficacious means of respite and refreshment through 
sacramental grace. Hence the question of Church 
Authority comes to the front, and we see at once the 


full meaning of the passage in his last letter to 
Rose :- 

" There is a probability of the whole subject of Church authority, 
power, claims, &c. &c., being opened. I am persuaded that the half 
solutions, which have hitherto really been enough, will not do in 
time to come." 

94. " The Prophetical Office " 

The Tractarian Movement was now spreading 
everywhere, and Newman was in exultation ; almost 
as much over the attacks of enemies who were adver 
tising the Movement by attacking it, as over the 
adhesion of new friends or allies. He is delighted that 
the Edinburgh Review has attacked them in force ; he 
hopes to tease the Christian Observer to death or 
insanity, and he rejoices over the Editor s froth and 
fury because it arose " from witnessing the spread of 
apostolical opinions." But their friends seemed rapidly 
equalling their enemies. Even at Cambridge, there was 
" a flame," he hoped, " tiny, but true." The Qiiarterly 
Review was about to admit a Tractarian article, finding 
that it must have " an infusion of Oxford principles ; " 
they "took" so well. The Tracts too were selling. 
The one on the Breviary had come to a second edition 
in six months. The Lyra Apostolica was in circula 
tion. Froude s Remains were all but ready. The 
clever arrangement* of the Tractarians, to connect the 
Movement with Oxford, so that as in the phrase 
quoted above from James Mozley they could speak 
of " Oxford principles " and " the Oxford Tracts," was 
gradually leading the outside world to suppose in the 
silence of the Oxford authorities that the University 
itself was originating, or authorizing, what was in 
reality the action and utterance of a very small 


minority. Give them ten years more of progress at 
the present rate, unchecked by the Heads of Houses, 
and unreproved by the Bishops, and it seemed quite 
within the limits of probability that all England would 
identify the Movement with Oxford, and that a large 
(perhaps even the larger) portion of the clergy might 
be converts to the new Anglicanism. 

Carrying out his policy of supplementing the old 
leaflet Tracts by larger treatises, Newman now pub 
lished early in 1837, his Lectures on Romanism and 
Popular Protestantism which was also known as " The 
Prophetical Office of the Church." It was dedicated to 
Routh, the President of Magdalen, now more than 
eighty years of age, noted for <; his learning," so 
Newman wrote as an undergraduate " his strange 
appearance, and his venerable age." But his character, 
though respectable, was not exactly venerable ; and 
Newman was nervous about the dedication *. Keble, 
who did not see it till the book was out, blamed him 
for it ; and Newman, in reply (14 April), assures him 
that it had been on his mind for a long time, and had 
made him " very anxious "; he would have sent the 
dedication to Keble, he adds, "had there been time." 
Considering that on 5 January, very little had passed 
through the press, and that on 7 January he sent Rogers 
the Dedication, and begged his opinion about it, with 
out any indication of haste, it would seem that New 
man s memory must be here (as so often) in fault. He 
knew that people were beginning to accuse him of 
Romanism. He knew that " The Prophetical Office " 
would intensify that accusation. He therefore wished 
to shelter his new work under a name associated with 
orthodox and solid learning. He dedicated it to Routh, 
as E. T. Mozley says, " for policy s sake," and he 


perhaps felt doubtful about Keble s approval. After 
wards, he may have felt that Keble whom he con 
sulted on all cases of conscience ought to have been 
consulted on this. That he could have been deterred 
from consulting him by anticipating his disapproval, he 
did not like to believe, and therefore contrived not to 
believe. This is only our conjecture. But it is possible, if 
not probable. His own theory, that he was prevented by 
want of time, seems quite inconsistent with the facts. 

The book itself might excuse some "policy in 
seeking the shelter of dedication to some authoritative 
person ; for he describes it as " hitting Protestantism a 
hard blow in the face " ; " Pusey," he says, " had de 
clared that it would put people out of breath " ; " Every 
thing else that I have yet said," he tells his sister, 
" is milk and water to it, and this makes me anxious." 
Its object was four-fold ; to attack Protestantism, to 
attack Romanism, to construct or re-construct the true 
Anglicanism, and to supply himself with " a basis in 
reason " for his belief in the latter. But the work 
itself will not detain us. We need only, for reasons that 
will soon be apparent, touch on the introduction, and 
the conclusion, both of which are given in the Apologia. 
The former, besides distinctly admitting that " the 
Via Media, viewed as an integral system, has scarcely 
had existence except on paper," and that it " remains 
to be tried whether" it "is capable of being professed, 
acted on, and maintained in a large sphere of action,"* 
practically admits that the task commenced by Anglican 
theologians is to be achieved by the selective faculty 
of a few Oxford men in the nineteenth century :- 

" Primitive doctrine has been explored for us in every direction 
and the original principles of the Gospel and the Church patiently 
"brought to light. But one thing is still wanting ; our champions and 


teachers have lived in stormy times ; political and other influences 
have acted upon them variously in their day, and have since ob 
structed a careful consolidation of their judgments .... We have 
more than we know how to use ; stores of learning, but little that is 
precise and serviceable ; Catholic truth and individual opinion, first 
principles and the guesses of genius, all mingled in the same works, 
and requiring to be discriminated. We meet with truths overstated 
or misdirected, matters of detail variously taken, facts incompletely 
proved or applied, and rules inconsistently urged or discordantly 
interpreted. ..." 

A moment s consideration will show that the posi 
tion, difficult for any Church Reformer, was absolutely 
hopeless for one whose whole nature already revolted 
against what he called in later days, " picking and 
choosing the contents of Christianity." Substitute 
"pick and choose" for "discriminate and select"; 
and we have Newman himself here gravely proposing 
that he and a group of Oxonian friends of his should 
set up that which he regarded as an abomination of 
desolation, that portentous impiety called " Private 
Judgment," by sitting in a Commission of Inquiry 
into the great Divines of the Anglican Church : " it 
remains for us to catalogue, sort, distribute, pick and 
choose, harmonize and complete " ; and again, " we 
have Catholic truth and individual opinion, first prin 
ciples and the guesses of genius .... requiring to 
be picked and chosen! Summing up the requisites for 
the task, he continues : 

" What we need at present for our Church s well-being, is, not in 
vention, nor originality, nor sagacity, nor even learning in our 
divines, at least not in the first place, though all gifts of God are in a 
measure needed, and never can be unseasonable when used reli 
giously, but we need peculiarly a sound judgment, patient thought, 
discrimination, a comprehensive mind, an abstinence from all private 
fancies and caprices, and personal tastes in a word, Divine 

VOL. II c\ 


Is there not some involuntary irony in these last two 
words ? We do not need this, or that, or the other, 
or "even learning "such is the meaning the words 
might convey we only need " Divine Wisdom." As 
though such " Wisdom " were a small thing, instead 
of being so truly " divine," that, for want of it, the 
Fathers and theologians of eighteen centuries had 
been unable to accomplish the task now proposed to 
be entrusted to a little group of Oriel men in 1837 ! 
And yet, without such " divine wisdom," what availed 
the "vast inheritance," the treasures "in profusion," 
locked up in the Anglican divines, if Anglicans them 
selves could not agree as to what was bullion, and 
what was base metal ? 

Under these circumstances it was not strange that, 
even in the moment of completing his long and weary 
task, the author himself was seized with a misgiving 
that all his labour might be in vain. "This circum 
stance, he says, "that after all we must use private 
judgment upon Antiquity, created a sort of distrust in 
my theory altogether." It is not often that a religious 
Reformer concludes a great work by avowing his 
"distrust" in it, and a disposition to feel "that what 
has been said is but a dream, the wanton exercise, 
rather than the practical conclusions of the intellect." 
But Newman, besides making this avowal, actually 
proceeds to surrender the whole object of his struggle 
in his parting words. They are as follows: "After 
all, the Church is ever invisible in its day, and faith 
only [i.e. alone] apprehends it." On which his com 
ment (in 1864) is, "What was this, but to give up 
the Notes of a visible Church altogether, whether the 
Catholic Note or the Apostolic?" What indeed? 
But why publish a book in which the last paragraph 


" gives up " all for which the previous paragraphs had 
contended ? It is all very well in this fashion to 
" relate oneself to paper," as Bacon used to do, when 
a man wishes to think out his own problems for his 
single self. The words are honest, transparently honest ; 
but ought not the responsibilities of a Guide and Leader 
to have prohibited such published and inconsistent 
soliloquies ? This work need occupy us no further. It 
is a Book of Oscillation, and should prepare the reader 
for oscillating utterances which will shortly follow. 

95. "Justification by Faith " 

The Essay on Justification by P^aith (published early 
in 1838) was aimed, as Newman tells us, at the 
Lutheran dictum that justification by faith only was 
the cardinal doctrine of Christianity. He consid 
ered that the doctrine was either a paradox or a 
truism a paradox in Luther s mouth, a truism in 
Melanchthon s ; that the Anglican Church followed 
Melanchthon ; and that, in consequence, between 
Rome and Anglicanism, high Church and low Church, 
there was no real intellectual difference on the point. 

The truth of " a truism " would not we might 
suppose be very difficult to demonstrate : yet this 
treatise seems to have perplexed and mystified some 
of Newman s admirers who were far from being dull. 
In answer to his sister Harriett, who complained of its 
lifficulty, he says that "the great difficulty was to 
tvoid being difficult ; it is so entangled and mystified 
>y irrelevant and refined questions " ; to others he 
>nfesses that he has been " a good deal fussed with 
it " ; and the reason he gives is, that in this matter he 
>uld not follow authorities, but had to think for 

G 2 


himself; it is a terra incognita, he says, to the 
Anglican divines ; and, hence, it took him incredible 
time and he was "quite worn out with correcting it." 
One of the ablest and most sympathetic of his bio- 
oraphers thinks it was intended to show that in certain 
points " The Lutheran and Anglican theology is right " 
and that it was an " elaborate effort to reconcile the 
Lutheran view of this subject with the Catholic view," 
whereas Newman himself tells us that he intended to 
attack the Lutheran view, and maintains that the 
Anglican theology did not follow Luther but Melanch- 
thon. This would indicate, that if the writer found 
the subject a terra incognita, he left it for many of 
his readers what he found it. 

If it is indeed a terra incognita, and if men are to 
be driven to thinking for themselves about it, an 
intrepid layman might suggest that, even in common, 
non-theological life, there is such a thing as helping a 
man to become honest by treating him as honest, and 
making him righteous by calling him so. Bacon tells 
us that even a dog puts on a kind of "generosity" 
" when he finds himself maintained by a man, who to 
him is instead of a god or melior natural If this 
be so, a simple person, not versed in theology, might 
find no great difficulty in conceiving that, when a man 
has been once so impressed by, others may use other 
metaphors and say " possessed by," or " taken into " 
the character, or spirit, of the incarnate Son of God, 
as to feel a perfect trust in this Melior Natura, he, too, 
may put on a more than common "generosity" and 
may be, sometimes even in a moment, made capable 
of new moral greatness. If he feels the burden of 
his sins falling from his shoulders (as John Bunyan felt 
it standing at the foot of the Cross), or if he hears 


a Voice saying, " Thou art righteous/ followed by a 
sense that he is righteous, he may asseverate that this 
is no " economy," but the simple truth : the Voice at 
once proclaims and thereby makes him righteous. 
But, of course, all this is far too simple. It is only 
Shakespeare, and Bacon, and common sense, terra 
incognita indeed to genuine "scribes" : who in their 
impotent use of unmeaning words that may carry con 
viction to others but not to themselves ; in their 
neglect of the healing and helpful processes of human 
nature ordained by the Eternal Word since human 
nature was ; and in their disparagement of the natural 
canons of human law as compared with ecclesiastical 
rules and theological fictions find a fitting condemna 
tion in the words of one of our older poets : 

" We study Speech, but others we persuade ; 

We Leech-craft learn, but others cure with it ; 
We interpret Laws, which other men have made, 
But read not those which in our hearts are writ." 

The biographer whom I quoted above confesses 
that he has found this treatise of Newman s "some 
what straw-chopping and dry." Perhaps he has not 
sufficiently entered into Newman s materialistic feeling 
about sin as an indelible stain, so that a person who 
has once sinned can never be really righteous, although, 
of course, if it pleases the inscrutable God to call him 
righteous, we must accept the fact, on authority. 
Bishop Thirlwall, also, speaks of Newman s discussion 
as dealing mainly with " questions of words." 

Neither this, nor the charge of " dryness," seems 
iquite adequate criticism. Forgiveness, surely, is not 
a question of words ; nor is that process above de- 
iscribed, of making people righteous by treating them 


as righteous, a question of words : they are both 
realities. The forgiveness of children, for example, 
by parents, is a sublime spiritual fact : it is not a mere 
forgetting ; it is an uplifting, not to be achieved 
without some parental faith, sympathy, and sorrow, 
nor without some spark of trust, as well as regret, on 
the part of the child. But to what does Newman 
reduce this "law which in our hearts is writ" ? To a 
mere sham forgetting : " When a parent forgives a 
child, it is on the same principle. He says, I will 
think no more of it this time ; I will forget what has 
happened ; I will give you one more trial. In this sense 
it is all one to say that he forgives the child, or that he 
counts him to have been, and to be, a good child *. . . .* 
Now when a theological treatise reduces parental 
forgiveness to an imposture, and this by way of justi 
fying a still more gross imposture imputed to the 
Father in heaven, it is no sufficient condemnation to 
call it "dry," though, in a sense, that is true : for it is 
the "dryness" of a skeleton substituted for the living 
form. Yet Newman is at least consistent. Once more 
does his all pervading " economy " come into play : 

" Justification is the glorious voice of the Lord declaring us to 
be righteous. That it is a declaration, not a making, is sufficiently 
clear from this one argument, that it is the justification of a sinner, of 
one who has been a sinner ; and the past cannot be reversed except 
by accounting it reversed. Nothing can bring back time bygone ; 
nothing can undo what is done. God treats us as if that had not 
been which has been ; that is, by a merciful economy or representa 
tion, He says of us as to the past, what in fact is otherwise than 
what He says it is." 

It is hard to see how asserting that " God says as to the 
past what, in fact, is othenvise than what He says it 
is:" differs from imputing an untruth to God. In 


some this would be blasphemy. In Newman it is only 
the result of a consistent abjectness, a resolute deter 
mination to believe that the "Almighty" is what He 
is called ; that, as His justice differs from ours, so 
does His truth ; and that He can make what would 
be false in us true in Himself. 

Another treatise, published in 1838 as Tract No. 85, 
deserves a word or two, as showing, a further progress 
we may almost call it a sceptical advance from 
" Bible Christianity." It consisted of some lectures on 
" Holy Scripture in relation to the Catholic Creed." 
We have seen that Newman in his correspondence 
with Froude, seems to have admitted that the special 
Tractarian doctrines could not easily be found in 
Scripture ; they could be deduced from Scripture with 
the aid of Tradition, but not otherwise. He now 
make this admission publicly ; he does not deny that 
it had caused him uneasiness : but he meets the diffi 
culty by what he sometimes called the kill-or-cure 
method. He urged on his Protestant objectors that 
if they rejected these Tractarian doctrines, they ought, 
on the same principle, to go further and reject some of 
what they themselves regarded as fundamental truths 
of Christianity. 

This is perhaps the first clear manifestation of the 
strategical device, so to speak, of breaking down the 
bridges behind his advancing army so as to make it 
impossible to retire. He had once manifested a desire 
to believe that all fundamental Christian doctrine must 
be either in Scripture or at least capable of fair logical 
deduction from Scripture. But henceforth he is 
committed to Tradition. Give up Tradition, and the 
Tractarians must be driven back into the deep waters 
of Atheism. There was nothing for it but to go 


forward. These lectures also illustrate his indifference, 
just now pointed out, to the moral and spiritual revela 
tions of Scripture, as compared with the revelation of 
a definite ecclesiastical scheme for the salvation of 
souls by sacramental grace. For he now suggests that, 
without the interpretation of Tradition, Scripture cannot 
really be of any practical use to us ; it tells us nothing 
of importance. In behalf of those who find God s will 
revealed in Tradition, he suggests that " there is no 
antecedent improbability in His revealing it elsewhere 
than in an inspired volume." But against " Bible- 
Christians " he urges that their position is absurd : for 
" there is an overpowering improbability in Almighty 
God s announcing that He has revealed something, 
and revealing nothing."^ I do not see what this can 
mean but that, to a " Bible-Christian," rejecting what 
Newman called the interpretation of the Church, the 
Bible reveals " nothing." Yet that he should have 
meant this seems almost impossible. The character of 
God, as revealed in Christ ; the working of the Spirit 
of Christ as seen in the life of St. Paul ; the resurrec 
tion of Christ even, though it be accepted on, and 
interpreted by, the testimony of St. Paul alone^ all 
this, nothing ! Grant that he means, nothing to the 
p^lrpose ; nothing that adequately teaches the applica 
tion of the Sacraments to the diseased soul, nothing 
that could make a man feel safe : still it is an 
astounding statement. 

96. " Hippoclcides doesrit care " 

Disappointed in, or at least doubtful about, his 
prospect of piecing together a New Anglicanism, with 
paste and scissors, out of the Anglican divines, 


Newman was naturally led to ask himself whether 
there might not be some less tedious and more 
spiritual path towards the attainment of the truth. 
As a child, he had believed that the elements were 
" fellow-angels " deceiving him with the semblance of 
a material world ; as a man, instead of putting away 
childish things, he developed them. He considered, 
so he tells us in the Apologia, that there was a middle 
race of demons or spirits, neither in heaven nor in 
hell ; partially fallen, capricious, wayward ; noble or 
crafty, benevolent or malicious, which gave a sort of 
inspiration or intelligence to races, nations, and classes 
of men. 

Now, if he had contented himself with saying that 
in the supreme review of things hereafter, we may look 
back and trace a kind of personal identity and human 
growth in nations ; so that it is not wholly imaginative 
or poetic, but philosophically suggestive, to regard 
them as organic growths as Plato personified his 
" Republic," and St. Paul his " Church "there would 
have been much to say for this, though it would 
hardly deserve to be called a "theory." But Newman 
raises his "theory" into the position, not of an illus 
tration, but of a cause : " Hence" he says, " the action 
of bodies politic and associations, which is often so 
different from that of the individuals who compose 
them." A man who seriously means this, is almost 
necessarily led to reject lessons of history. For how can 
history teach us anything except through recognition 
of cause and effect ? and how can we recognize, and 
why should we care to study, cause and effect, in the 
French Revolution, for example, if it was brought 
about, not by the old regime and other causes, but by 
"the Spirit of Jacques Bonhomme " ? Or the Re- 

9 o 


formation and the Revolution, in our own country 
what can they teach us, according to this " theory," 
except that " the Spirit of John Bull" rebelled against 
k the Spirit of Rome " or laid prostrate " the Angel of 
Monarchy " ? It is so difficult to speak temperately 
about this part of Newman s teaching and yet to give 
an adequate notion of its extreme puerility, that it 
will be best to quote his own account of it from the 
Apologia : 

"In 1837 I made a further development of this doctrine. I said 
to an intimate and dear friend, Samuel Francis Wood, in a letter 
which came into my hands on his death, I have an idea. The 
mass of the Fathers (Justin, Athenagoras, Irenaeus, Clement, Tertul- 
lian, Origen, Lactantius, Sulpicius, Ambrose, Nazianzen), hold that, 
though Satan fell from the beginning, the Angels fell before the de 
luge, falling in love with the daughters of men. This has lately come 
across me as a remarkable solution of a notion which I cannot help 
holding. Daniel speaks as if each nation had its guardian Angel. I 
cannot but think that there are beings with a great deal of good in 
them, yet with great defects, who are the animating principles of cer 
tain institutions, &c. &c. . . . Take England, with many high virtues, 
and yet a low Catholicism. It seems to me that John Bull is a spirit 
neither of heaven nor hell. . . . Has not the Christian Church, in its 
parts, surrendered itself to one or other of these simulations of the 
truth ? . . . . How are we to avoid Scylla and Charybdis and go 
straight on to the very image of Christ?" &c. &c. 

To this extraordinary extract Newman appends a 
word or two, not of apology, but of defiance. He is 
aware, he says, that all this will, with many men, do 
credit to his imagination at the expense of his judg 
ment : " Hippocleides doesn t care : I am not setting 
myself up as a pattern of good sense or of anything 
else : I am but giving a history of my opinions, and 
that, with the view of showing that I have come by 
them through intelligible processes of thought and 


honest means." This is not an ambitious object : but 
he does not attain even this. The " processes of 
thought" are not "intelligible" as they are here ex 
hibited : nor are they intellectually honest." In 
describing the reasons that led him to these wild 
" theories," he has wholly omitted one most important 
factor t&e desire to arrive at orthodox conclusions by 
short methods. 

He had been confronted with the problem of Scrip 
ture interpretation, and had been forced to confess to 
himself that he knew very little about it, and could not 
at present grapple with the " neologians." To do it, 
even hereafter, would involve a long, close, and accu 
rate study, largely dealing with details, for which he 
was, and felt himself to be, wholly unfit. But on the 
other hand he was, and felt himself to be, admirably 
fitted to take broad and picturesque views, not of 
things, but of the aspects of things ; of possibilities ; of 
things as they looked to the world ; and also of things 
as they might turn out to be hereafter. A mere babe 
in dealing with facts, he was a giant in wielding the 
two-handed sword of "It-may-be-that," or " What-is- 
to-prevent-our-believing-that ? " This he could do 
well. This therefore he liked to do. And by doing 
this, he could, as it were, take Reason in the flank ; 
push Understanding, parenthetically, out of the field ; 
discard (instead of discussing) evidence ; and bear 
onward the ensign of " Faith " in an unimpeded and 
triumphant advance. Add this factor, and then, and 
not till then, his "processes of thought" become 
perfectly "intelligible," but not so perfectly "honest." 
Intellectually, they are dishonest. 

One word on " Hippocleides " -a nobleman of 
Greek antiquity who took "doesn t care" as his motto, 


and bequeathed it as a legacy to a limited posterity 
amono- whom Newman has here enrolled himself. 


The story goes that this worthy went to woo a lady 
of noble birth with every prospect of being accepted, 
because of his wealth and noble birth. But whereas 
other Greeks were wealthy and noble, he excelled 
them all in an art of which he was specially proud : 
he danced on his head to perfection. This therefore 
he liked to do, and sometimes unseasonably. So it 
came to pass that he spoilt all his chances by practising 
this accomplishment on the dining-table of his pro 
posed father-in-law. Naturally he lost his bride. 
With equal naturalness being an intrinsic buffoon- 
he replied, " Hippocleides doesn t care." Whether 
his friends cared or not, Herodotus does not tell us. 
Not Newman s friends alone, but even those who feel 
themselves to be, from an intellectual and theological 
point of view, his implacable enemies, must feel some 
touch of regret, to see a man of so many and such 
choice faculties, one who was specially bound to 
the honourable wooing and wedding of Truth, thus 
disporting himself in her presence, and thus ensuring 
failure. For, in him at all events however it might 
have been with others such views meant failure. 
They could not but result in a still further develop 
ment of an already monstrous imagination and the still 
further subordination of the starved and almost ex 
tinguished faculty of judgment. Patient students of 
fact, careful observers, calm and judicial writers, might 
hold notions of this kind, perhaps, at arm s length, 
sporting with them in the sphere of possibilities, 
without being influenced by them in the region of 
material cause and effect ; but this was not possible 
for the author of the Elucidations. 


Yet. after all, beneath this exasperating defiance of 
common sense, there is latent a motive very different 
indeed from that of Hippocleides. " A man s per 
fection," taught St. Philip Neri, " lies in the space 
of three lines," and, so saying, he placed his finger on 
his forehead, indicating " mental asceticism," what 
the Italians bluntly call " the sacrifice of the intellect." 
Newman did not as yet know much about St. Philip 
(who was hereafter to be his patron in the Oratory at 
Birmingham) : but he was preparing to know him by 
acting in his spirit. This it was that supported and 
prompted him the feeling that in sacrificing the under 
standing he was propitiating God. His fear of the 
Creator and his abject anxiety to please Him were even 
stronger than his hostility to the world. Soon we shall 
find him openly avowing the need of such a sacrifice," 
and thus making a twilight in his mind. Then, when the 
twilight has given place to night, the " doctrine " of 
angels will do its work ; spirits will appear, and there 
will be war in the mind of the dreamer, the spirit of 
England, " John Bull," contending against the spirit of 
Rome, the City that sits in sackcloth bearing the sins 
of men. Which will prevail, is it difficult to predict ? 



97. The first check 

THE spring of 1838 indicates the high-water mark 
of the Tractarian tide at Oxford. Once more Newman 
rejoices in the flood of literature which was irrigat 
ing England with " right principles." He himself, in 
default of anyone else, was on the point of taking the 
Editorship of the British Critic. His only fear was 
as to the younger Oxonians : " One must not exult 
too much. What I fear is the now rising generation 
at Oxford, Arnold s youths. Much depends on how 
they turn out." But these too, or some of them, 
Newman was influencing. On the whole everything 
was going well. 

But at this point came the first check to the ad 
vance. In his episcopal charge (August 1838) the 
Bishop of Oxford expressed disapproval of certain 
expressions in the Tracts for the Times. He feared 
more, he said, for the disciples than for the masters ; 
but he warned and conjured those who were respon 
sible lest they should mislead others. For this, New 
man ought to have been prepared. He had recently 
avowed his intention to use extreme language with the 
view of "frightening" people. Even in 1833 he 
expected to be " denounced " for this : " I expect to 


be called a Papist when my opinions are known. But 
(please God) I shall lead persons on a little way, while 
they fancy they are only taking the mean, and de 
nounce me as the extreme." This being the case, he 
ought not to have been surprised that his Bishop, no 
less than Rickards, objected to some of his language. 
How could the young men and women who read 
Newman s Tracts, know that the author would be 
well pleased, even if they did not accept all that he 
said, but were led on only "a little way"? When, 
for example, he " talked of the First Book of Edward 
VI.," how could they know that he only " talked " 
hypothetically, meaning that he would like it if the 
Church was disestablished, or z/ the Tractarians were 
expelled from her pale ? In truth, the Bishop was 
extremely lenient in his expostulation. But Newman, 
who ought to have been prepared for much worse 
things, winced when the time came, under a censure so 
mild that the Bishop himself protested it was not a 
censure, but only a warning. 

This inconsistency we shall witness repeatedly here 
after. It was one of Newman s sayings to his Oriel 
pupils that "a man cannot eat his cake and keep it " ; 
yet he is constantly attempting this incompatibility. 
He wishes to use extreme language, which will, he 
knows, make many call him a Papist ; yet he is angry 
with the people who call him so. He trades on the 
chance that the silence of the Bishops may imply a 
sanction of his principles ; yet he is irritated when they 
refuse to give this tacit sanction. He makes much of 
the name of the University,* and of the deference paid 
to Oxford, and of the consequent authority reflected 
on the "Oxford" Tracts and " Oxford " principles; 
and yet we shall find him aggrieved at an attempt on 


the part of the University authorities to dissipate this 
popular delusion. Finally, before he quits the English 
Church, he will be seen avowing that he is attempting 
an enterprise of no less hazard than " proving a 
cannon," yet the explosion will shock him as much as 
if he had been innocently trying to do no more than 
fire an ordinary shot. 

But to return to the episcopal charge. For one who 
held, as Newman did, the strong views of Ignatius 
about the unquestioning obedience due from the clergy 
to their Bishop, even a warning was a rebuff. A true 
Ignatian might well take it for something even more 
serious. What if it was a " sign " that he was on the 
wrong track ? Newman, on this occasion, acted con 
sistently. He at once offered to suppress any of the 
Tracts of which he had the literary ownership. The 
offer was not accepted. The Bishop declared re 
peatedly he had not meant to censure, but only to 
warn ; and the kindness of his assurances helped to 
dissipate Newman s alarm. But, though he and Keble 
were satisfied, others of the party were not. Thomas 
Keble (Keble s brother) spoke of it in a way Newman 
"did not like," and both Pusey and Bowden were 
"annoyed." It seems that Thomas Keble blamed 
Newman for being too impulsive, hasty, and contro 
versial. Like Rickards, he seems to have thought 
(and even Pusey and Bowden were partly of his mind) 
that Newman s language was sometimes " irritating 
and irritated," or else extreme, bringing discredit on 
the cause. Whatever may have been the cause of 
Thomas Keble s dissatisfaction, it was not dispelled by 
the Bishop of Oxford s assurances of goodwill, but 
soon broke out more violently than ever, in conse 
quence of another incident. 


98. Quarrel between the Leaders 

We have seen that Froude s legacy to Newman was 
" the Breviary." Newman was now purposing to 
publish it as one of the Tracts. However revised, 
such a publication was, at any time, likely to renew 
the accusation of Romanizing against the Tractarians ; 
and just now, immediately after the Bishop s remon 
strance, followed by his kindly assurances of goodwill, 
such a project seemed peculiarly unseasonable. Ac 
cordingly Prevost, an old friend of Froude s, sent 
Newman a letter of remonstrance declaring that he, 
Thomas Keble, and another, were greatly distressed 
by the project ; he also spoke of those who " used " to 
sympathize with the Movement (implying that New 
man s advanced views had alienated them) and he 
offered to pay the expenses of the printing, if it was 
stopped at once. Newman then consulted a friend 
(Wood) who agreed with Newman s own suggestion, 
that he ought not to continue the publication without 
Keble s "leave." To obtain this, it would have been 
necessary to mention to the latter the quarrel between 
himself and Thomas Keble, which Newman felt to be 
" awkward." Meanwhile Keble, who seems to have 
been informed of the affair by others, wrote to New 
man, who replied as follows : 

" Your letter has saved me the awkwardness of writing to you on 
the subject. What I proposed to Wood was to correct the Breviary 
by some standard. I confess I much dislike correcting it by my 
private judgment, or by the vague opinions of the day, or by what 
people will think. I mentioned to him the Thirty-nine Articles, en 
titling it The Breviary reformed according to the Thirty-nine 
Articles, but the Thirty-nine Articles will not cut out the legends. 
Then I thought of the preface to the Prayer Book. What would 



you say to both together ? After all, is there any one of our standards 
which would keep out such as May St. Mary and all saints intercede 
for us to the Lord, &c. ? Are we bound to cut out what is of un 
known antiquity and not forbidden by our Church ? I do not think 
it will do to attempt to correct it by history. None of the parties 
concerned are strong enough in facts to do so. 

" The sooner I have your answer the better. They go printing 
on, but this at present will involve very little cancelling." 

The abruptness in this letter speaks for itself. In 
the recent episcopal trouble, Keble alone, said New 
man, had encouraged him : but now even Keble was 
against him. So strong an opposition made him un 
usually obstinate, the more, perhaps, because he asso 
ciated his purpose with the memory of his friend 
Froude. Rogers, who sided with the moderates, felt, 
for a full fortnight, what he humorously calls the 
" flintiness " which, on occasion, the Leader knew well 
how to assume. " Cerebral excitement " and nothing 
else, can explain the extraordinary imprudence to say 
nothing more of committing the Tractarian Cause to 
an Anglican Invocation of Saints which differed from 
the Roman merely by substituting the Optative for 
the Imperative Mood ! Somewhere in a letter to 
Rogers, Newman suggests a treatise on the Subjunc 
tive Mood, apparently with some reference to theology. 
A great many such treatises, specially illustrating the 
force of " may," would be needed to show ordinary 
Anglicans (especially in those days) the difference 
between " May St. Mary intercede " and " St. Mary, 
intercede." The former was in use a few years after 
wards in Newman s Monastic House at Littlemore. 
But things had moved on then ; and, besides, a formula 
for the private use of oneself and one s friends was one 
thing ; published to the world with the sanction of the 
whole of the Tractarian Party, it was quite another. 


By degrees Newman calmed down. But he had 
been made not only angry but uneasy. He could 
forget mere interference or even opposition ; but he 
had been wounded in a more vital part. The old 
wound of self-distrust had been opened and would not 
so readily heal. What with the charge of the Bishop 
and the opposition of his best friends, he began once 
more to suspect himself, to fear that he had no right 
to meddle, that he was not in his place as a leader, and 
that he might be misleading himself and others. He 
tells Keble that he is sorry he has annoyed Prevost by 
his sharp reply, and he hopes Prevost has got over it, 
as, he trusts, he himself has got over the annoyance of 
Prevost s letter ; he is ready to do anything he can to 
smooth matters ; but he implores the other side to 
recollect the effect of their suspicions on one who 
" soon begins so to suspect everything he does as to 
have no heart, and little power, to do anything at all." 

In this state of mind, jealously scrutinizing his own 
motives, and dreading lest he may be unawares guilty 
of the unpardonable sin of wilfulness, he places 
himself unreservedly, and almost abjectly, at Keble s 
disposal : "If you tell me to make any submission to 

any one, I will do it If you will tell me what 

not to do, I will not do it Is it to stop writing ? 

I will stop anything you advise. Is it to show what I 
write to others before publishing it ? It is my rule 
already. Is it to stop my weekly parties ? I will 
gladly do so." A " Decemvirate of Revision " is 
suggested. He foresees the difficulties, the impracti 
cability ; " it is virtually," he says, " enjoining silence." 
Still, he accepts it. Even to Bowden, his second self, 
the most affectionate of all his friends, he writes, not 
indeed without a certain vestige of the " flinty 

II 2 


humour, but with still more self-distrust. Bowden. 
who sided with the moderates, had asked him whether 
the Invocation of Saints had not led to great corrup 
tions. " I do not like," replies Newman, " to give my 

opinion It seems to me, if I must speak, that 

saint-worship, as it practically prevailed in the middle 
ages, is a very great corruption ; but how far the 
formal acts of the Church involve such worship, and 
what are its limits, I cannot say : and I am so bothered 
and attacked on all sides by friends and foes that I had 
much rather say nothing, and had I my own wish, I 
certainly should say nothing and write nothing more. 
I mean I distrust my judgment, and am getting afraid 
to speak." 

What it was precisely that made him " afraid to 
speak" Newman himself probably hardly knew. In 
the earlier stage of the quarrel he wrote as if, though 
perfectly willing to be silent, he still retained his con 
victions unchanged. He was resolved, he said, that 
people should not blame him for stubbornness, nor for 
anything except being himself that is, " having certain 
opinions and a certain way of expressing them." But 
to Bowden, above, he confesses that he distrusts his 
own judgment. In two later letters to Keble, he 
goes beyond that. The first of these brings clearly 
before us a fact hitherto hidden, which largely explains 
both the quarrel and Newman s perplexity. 


99. Newman feels " a sort of bad conscience " 

The Leader had been gathering around him a circle 
of younger friends. In Oxford and Cambridge, three 
or four years make a generation ; and, after half a 
dozen years, an M.A. going round his old college will 


read fresh names on every staircase and find himself in 
a new world. Even among the graduates, waves of 
thought succeed each other more rapidly than else 
where ; and the younger men come sooner to the front 
at least in any movement of innovation and enter 
prise, which has no charms for older men of solid 
reputation supported by substantial endowments. It 
was not surprising, then, that a younger and advanced 
school of Tractarian thought was now assuming im 
portance. Newman in his " weekly parties " would 
see and fascinate these men. They, in turn, would 
hear, and be fascinated, and be receptive, and ask such 
questions as friendly admirers might ask, and put 
interrogative inferences, and imperceptibly lead New 
man onward. Not having faith in the teaching of ex 
perience, Newman admired youth at the expense of 
age. But besides, every one likes, and he liked, fresh 
ness and unworldliness. These young men s ignorance 
of cautious, prudent, and temporizing arts, he might 
sometimes take as a rebuke to himself for his want of 
vigour in following out the course which in his heart 
he felt to be Froude s and the true one. Here is the 
passage in which, for the first time, Newman describes 
to Keble this young progressive party, contrasting 
them with the country clergy, and pointing out that his 
work lies with the former : 

"... Your brother knows the country clergy, and makes their 
feelings his standard. I do not deny, though I have no means of 
knowing, that it is as he says, but I do not write for them. Of course, 
as is natural, I write for those I do see : namely, the generation lay 
or clerical rising into active life, particularly at Oxford. That I am 
useful to them by the very things that may be injudicious in view of 
the clergy, I am certain, whatever ultimately comes of it. I do not 
consider that for them I am going too fast. The character of a place 
of this kind must be considered before men can fairly undertake to 


judge about what is best or not best. One cannot stop still. Shrewd 
minds anticipate conclusions, anticipate objections, oblige one to say 
yes or no, to defend oneself, to anticipate the objection. What your 
brother calls unsettling is not my work, but of others here, who must 
be met and treated lest they do harm. It is better surely to refute 
objections than to let others be the prey of them. In fact, in a place 
of this kind if one is to speak (which is another matter) one must be 
prepared to pursue questions and to admit or deny inferences." 

Yet he does not put this forward as a sufficient 
reason for continuing his present course. On the 
contrary, he doubts whether he ought thus to speak 
out to these young Oxford men M at the expense of the 
country clergy." He has " no call" he says, he is not 
" in station." When, therefore, a man like Thomas Keble 
virtually says to him, " What business is it of yours, 
and are you doing it in the best way ? " he puts, says 
Newman, the very question that his own conscience 
puts to him. Why not, then, be silent ? Why not do 
other work, read the Fathers, for example, and prepare 
for writing on them, and, with this view, give up the 
Tracts, the British Critic, and St. Mary s ? This he 
repeats in a second letter. Keble, it seems, had ex 
plained Newman s constant "fidgetiness" as arising 
from a desire to " see things clearly and to get others 
to see them." Newman thinks it is not so : it arises, 
he thinks, from a general dependence on "external 
things " in other words, on what he accepts as 
11 signs" of divine guidance. When, therefore, men of 
his own party protest against him, he feels bereft of 
this guidance, and is attacked by " a sort of bad con 
science and disgust " with what he has done. Hence, 
what would give him " most peace of conscience" would 
be to give up the Tracts. 

" My constant feeling, when I write, is, that I do not realize 
things, but am merely drawing out intellectual conclusions, which, 


I need not say, is very uncomfortable [vide a passage in my account 
of Sicilian illness]." 

The "passage" is the one (see above i. 283) in which 
he called himself " nearly hollow " and condemned 
himself as " not possessing the truth." To this add 
that "realise"^ and "uncomfortable,"* in the Tract- 
arian vocabulary, have a technical and religious signi 
ficance quite different from that which is implied by 
the common use of the words. The reader will 
then perceive that this is a very serious and distressing 
kind of self-distrust, penetrating far more deeply than 
a mere doubt as to whether one has expressed one s 
convictions in the most suitable and seasonable way. 

TOO. "Conscience" 

Four days after writing (5 December) to Keble 
about the " sort of bad conscience " which distressed 
him, and about what would give him most " peace of 
conscience" he preached a sermon on conscience in its 
bearing on faith. At this time, there were many 
reasons why faith, and the inner tests of faith, and the 
reconciliation of faith and reason, should claim his 
consideration. Success was beginning to bring its 
dangers to " the Apostolical Movement." Tractarian- 
ism was now fashionable at Oxford, and its young 
zealots were beginning to become formal and manner- 
istic. Even in 1837 their leader had expressed a fear 
that their " fasting &c., may get ostentatious." 

Besides this, the controversy between Anglicanism 
and Romanism was turning on the question of the 
Faith and its relation to the Church. In 1838 Newman 
illustrated it by the contrast between the Madonna and 
Child, and a Calvary. The peculiarity, he said, of the 


Anglican theology was this that it " supposed the 
Truth to be entirely objective and detached, not lying 
hid in the bosom of the Church as if one with her, 
clinging to and (as it were) lost in her embrace, but as 
being sole and unapproachable, as on the Cross or at 
the Resurrection, with the Church close by, but in 
the background." This beautiful illustration must 
have gone far to attract towards Rome such a mind as 
Newman s. If, as he tells us, he was naturally led 
to his theory of the Angels of nations by his " pre 
ference " of the Personal to the Abstract, the fascinat 
ing representation of the Church as the Mother with 
the growing babe of truth in her arms might be well 
"preferred" in choosing between two Personalities. 
As a deliverance from religious fears, the Roman "view" 
is infinitely superior to the Anglican, as Newman 
conceived it. But time would be needed for this 
thought to work. Meanwhile, it clearly shows us how 
prominently there stood before his mind at this time 
the question of faith, and of the means by which it is 
to be received, retained, developed, and tested. We 
have now to see how, in the testing of faith, the part 
played by conscience might claim his attention. 

The sermons of the autumn and winter of 1838 
reflect the incidents of the time and the varying moods 
of the writer. While the " Breviary " quarrel was 
still pending, they are on the old lines, inculcating 
fear with the usual vehemence, and teaching that Faith 
must expect to have the world arrayed against it, 
because the world is in itself, and not by accident, evil. 
Later, he urges that, as some kind of "poor return " 
for the mercies of God, we ought to trust the Scriptures 
by which he means, accept all Scriptural statements 
whether as to science, history, or morality even 


against the evidence submitted to our understanding : 
<l when these two informants, the one natural, the other 
revealed, oppose each other, we should trust for a little 
while," i.e. till death, " the latter." 

But the sermon on " The Testimony of Conscience " 
(9 December) introduces a different phase of thought. 
He had, in his past sermons, laid great stress upon 
works as the test of faith, and especially on such definite 
works as fasting and church-going. But for some time 
he had been alarmed lest his followers, practising these 
works in a formal, pompous, way, might remain hollow 
at heart. Was it he might ask perhaps his fault ? 
Had he omitted to lay sufficient stress on inner tests, 
such as peace and the sense of a good conscience ? 
Certainly during his own wretched conflict of the 
preceding month, he had felt that he had not known 
peace, and that he had been harassed with " a sort of 
bad conscience." Would it not be well, then, that he 
should teach both himself and his younger disciples 
that peace was one of the notes of a true Christian, 
and that a good conscience bore witness to a genuine 
faith ? 

Accordingly, he puts the question, " What is the 
test of true faith ? " Works, he says, are its evidence ; 
but they cannot be thus used till after the lapse of 
some time. Even then, they are evidence to others, 
rather than to oneself. They can scarcely be con 
sidered an evidence, definite or available for a man s 
comfort, at any moment when he seeks for one. 
Finally, he exhorts his readers, to aim at that which, 
" though it can claim nothing, can beg everything : 
an honest purpose, an unreserved, entire, submis 
sion of ourselves to our Maker, Redeemer and Judge. 
Here we have the explanation why Newman so un- 


reservedly, so almost abjectly, submitted his action 
in the matter of the Breviary to Keble s dictation. 
1 1 was in o^der that he might submit to somebody, 
at all events. " I do so fear lest I may be wilful " 
he had written to Froude a few years before when 
he was resisting the suppression of the Tracts. That 
was what he also feared now wilfulness ; "the sin 
of Saul." It seldom occurred to him that it may be 
a duty to judge for oneself, and that an even greater 
sin than wilfulness may sometimes be will-less- 
ness. He wanted to submit, to God. Not able to 
trust the voice of God in his own heart, he took 
Keble instead as his spiritual director. Having 
submitted to him, he had done all he could ; and 
for the present, his fears were quieted and he was at 
peace. The same is the tenour of the next sermon 
on "Sincerity and Hypocrisy" which describes "an 
honest and unaffected desire of doing right," as "the 
test of God s true servants." 

But with this phase of thought he could not long 
rest satisfied. For was he not "going by his own feel 
ings " ? Was there not a danger that he might relapse 
into his old Evangelical state, a mere subjective 
religion ? No proposition, in .Newman s mind, was 
really " objective." Even Scriptural statements about 
God might be " economies." All human statements 
about Him must be therefore, in some sense, hypo 
thetical. God is in every place if a Spirit can have 
relation with Space ; loving, z/ we may consider Him 
other than simple Unity ; One, e/ the idea of Him falls 
under earthly number. And so on. Yet still, there 
was a medium between the "objective" and the 
" subjective." There was the " external " ; there was 
" authority." There was- " the Church." 


It happened that just at this time a friend returned 
from Cambridge, bringing doleful accounts which 
suggested this very danger of making religion a 
mere matter of "one s own feelings." The "tiny 
flame" was not burning well it had not air enough, 
or perhaps it had too much air in that home 
of scientific industry. Maurice, it seemed, was " the 
great doctor" there, and Merivale was going to 
publish four apparently " Maurician " sermons, which 
" seemed to make subjective religion all in all " : " What 
a set they are ! They cannot make religion a reality ; 

nothing more than a literature An external 

bond is what they want "[i.e. need], "and what they 
shrink from. Are they not like Greeks, and we like 
Romans?" Grai ingenium . &c., Tu, Romane, 
memento parcere subjectis et debellare super- 
bos. There is a good deal of truth in this condem 
nation of the sister University. Newman and his 
Oxford friends were probably far superior to anyone 
at Cambridge in their knowledge of the world, and 
of the arts needed for making rapid conquests of the 
minds of men, and for binding them together, at all 
events for a time, in chains that seem indissoluble. 
Yet the Oxford Leader, perhaps, ^ardly sufficiently 
realised that, in the end, Nature, whether material or 
spiritual, can only be permanently subdued by those 
who have the patience to study and obey her laws ; 
and that in theology, as in science, the lot of those 
great conquerors who would take short cuts to success, 
is ultimate failure. Internal, not external, must be the 
bond that is to produce real union ; and this takes time 
to forge. 

It was like a poet, and almost like a "Greek," to 
feel on 5 December that he had a " sort of bad con- 


science," could "realize" nothing, and guide no one ; 
and then, on 28 December, that he and his followers 
were of the true Roman breed, fitted to subdue and 
organize a world! But Newman was just now suffer 
ing from one of his fits of reactionary exultation. 
Having endured the depression caused, first, by his 
Bishop s apparent disapproval, and then by his quarrel 
with his own friends and fellow-workers ; he was now 
enduring the rebound. In old days, during one of 
these spasms of complacency, he had avowed himself 
able to il root up St. Mary s spire and kick down the 
Radcliffe " : now he felt himself capable of similar 
achievements in the sphere of religious philosophy : 
" I really do think," he writes to Rogers (14 January), 
" I have defined Reason." He had been preaching 
two sermons which, he says, had greatly enlightened 
himself, perplexed his hearers, and opened a very 
large subject which he only wishes he could treat. 

These must now engage our attention. They were 
written by one still suffering from the recent shock to 
his faith in himself his faith, so to speak, in his own 
faith and desiring at the same time to satisfy the 
" shrewd minds " of the young advanced Tractarians, 
who " anticipated conclusions/ and obliged him to 
defend himself. They show him, accordingly, on the 
defensive, marking out, as it were, entrenchments, and 
fortifying a camp for a halt. His method of fortifi 
cation will be short and simple not the tedious pro 
cess of alleging new or forgotten facts, or combining 
old and well-known facts in new relations. His ram 
parts will simply be new arrangements of words. He 
will so define Reason as to include Faith ; he will then 
urge that faith is consequently reasonable ; and he will 
thus lead us to the implied inference that it does not 


much matter on what grounds we believe ; for Faith 
must be in accordance with Reason, even when it 
believes on very little evidence and almost on no 
evidence at all. This done, his forces are safe from 
present attack, and prepared to advance, on the 
morrow, toward the full Tractarian doctrine and 
possibly on the next day, towards something beyond 



10 1. What is Faith ? 

IN Tract 85, published in 1838, Newman had 
admitted that many require "more explicit Scripture 
proof" of this or that doctrine ; " this," he said, was 
" one of the main difficulties, and (as I think) one of 
the intended difficulties, which God s providence puts 
at this day in the path of those who seek Him, t for 
purposes known or unknown, ascertainable or not " : 
and he exhorted his readers not to be deterred from 
believing, even though the evidence, &c., " might be 
given more explicitly and fully, and (if I may say so) 
more consistently." This thought he works out more 
fully in the sermons we shall now consider. Amplify 
ing and emphasizing the assertion that God intended 
this " difficulty," he will lead us to the conclusion that 
Faith is just this : believing without proof, or with 
very little proof, out of love for God. 

This last proposition is all the more misleading 
because, with certain qualifications, it is true. Nothing 
external can prove God s Fatherhood to a cynic or a 
sensualist ; for, first, he has formed no conception 
of it ; and, secondly, even though the dogma were 
written in the sky, he might say it was written by an 


evil spirit, who took a pleasure in fooling men ; or that 
it came there by accident. Nothing external can 
disprove it to a Christian ; not martyrdom, not earth 
quakes, not wars, not the human phenomena of our 
crowded cities, nor even the quarrels and corruptions 
and fictions with which the Churches have polluted 
sacred things. Here, then, is one large province in 
the region of right Faith, where we may believe, 
on what we should call if we were investigating 
historical or scientific fact little evidence. Not that 
there is not some evidence ; evidence from the order 
and beauty of nature ; from the history and develop 
ments of mankind ; from the history of Israel ; from the 
life, death, and resurrection of Christ ; from the history 
of the Church ; from the believer s experiences of the 
workings of this belief in people around him and in 
his own heart. Yet, though there is this evidence, the 
believer, in time, reaches a stage where he ceases to 
regard his belief as based on evidence. The fact is, 
that it is still so based, but that the last kind of 
evidence, the internal, has now superseded the others. 
He believes, at last, mainly because it is as neces 
sary for the noblest part of his nature to believe, as it 
is necessary for his animal nature to breathe. The 
evidence derived from fact may have contracted in 
some directions and expanded in others. He may 
have reformed altogether his notions of the history of 
Israel ; he may have largely altered his notions of 
some of the acts of Christ. Although they may strike 
him as more spiritually marvellous and morally im 
pressive than ever, yet he may have come to regard all 
of them rather as divine fulfilments, than violations or 
suspensions, of fixed law. On the other hand, he may 
be now much more impressed than before with awe, 



and hope, and trust, when he thinks of the growth of 
things from a protoplasm to Shakespeare or to 
Newton ; and this awe and trust may be tinged and 
even penetrated with affection, when he contemplates 
the beauty and the power of domestic and friendly and 
social love, and notes how this oppressed and despised 
and outraged faculty has been by kind and quiet 
means getting the better of " blood and iron "and gradu 
ally inducing at least a few to enthrone it as their 
Lord. Above all, as he grows in experience of life and 
in marvel at the divine possibilities in man, especially in 
Christian man, he may find it more and more natural to 
believe that Christ is, of all things, the most like God ; 
and if he has once touched, as it were, the Spirit of 
Christ, and felt that this represents the Ruling 
Principle of humanity, the Highest Spiritual Power, 
he may feel that he cannot give up this belief not 
even though he may have been led to conclusions on 
the historical facts of the Bible different from those ac 
cepted by the orthodox, and indeed to some that, at 
first, may have caused him such distress that nothing 
but conscience could have forced him to accept them. 
On the whole, it may very well happen that his new 
basis of fact may be narrower than it was before so 
that he may be said to retain the same belief but upon 
less evidence. Thus, in a sense, faith is, as Newman 
wishes us to believe, the art of readily believing. 

But this goes a very little way. For the next ques 
tion is the all-important one " the art of believing 
what ?" Faith, in itself, is no more a virtue than love. 
Both take their nature from the object. Just as love 
is no virtue, if it be the love of money, or of fame, or 
of a friend because he is rich, or of a wife because she 
is pretty, so faith may be no virtue too, but rather a 


vice, if it is faith in money, or in advertising, or in a 
policy of "blood and iron," or in the power of per 
sistent repression, or in a Deliverer simply because He 
works miracles, or in a God simply because He is 
Almighty. But the faith extolled in the Bible, seems 
to mean, in the Old Testament, faith in the Righteous 
Judgments of God ; in the New Testament, faith in 
the Fatherhood of God, as revealed in Christ ; and, as a 
consequence of either, faith in the ultimate triumph of 
Good over Evil. 

Such a faith as this is clearly moral ; by no means 
mainly intellectual except so far as it requires some 
thing above an ape-like intellect, even to conceive that 
right can be stronger than might, and, of course, all 
morality presupposes an intellectual as well as a 
physical basis. Its morality is also altogether without 
taint of dishonesty or untruthfulness. It looks, full in 
the face, all the evidence that would tend to show 
that facts have turned out otherwise than we should 
suppose God to have desired them ; all facts that show 
Him not to have interposed where, as children, we 
might have thought He would have interposed, and 
where perhaps our forefathers assumed that He did 
interpose ; it does not try to explain away expressions 
in the sacred writers which indicate that they believed 
the sun to move and the world to have been made in 
six days ; it does not even try to get over these diffi 
culties by suggesting that the consideration of them 
may be adjourned to the next world, when they will 
be found to be reconcilable with the facts of science. 

Such devices as these, true faith rejects. It does not 
reject miracles, if proved ; but it does not bid us try to 
believe that miracles have happened, that we may con 
struct for ourselves a basis for belief in God. True faith 



warns us never to try to believe anything to have 
happened as to which God has given us definite means 
of ascertaining whether it happened or not ; and it 
commands us to trust in God on the basis of God s 
own truth, and not in that of our own fiction. False 
faith says, " It is our duty, imposed on us by God, 
to believe, in religion, that certain facts have happened 
which, according to ordinary rules, evidence would 
either not prove, or would even disprove : " True faith 
says, " This, so far from being a duty, is a sin. We 
are to love God practically with our mind and under 
standing, as well as with our heart and will : and we 
cannot better serve Him than by using the former 
faculties to ascertain Truth of Fact, and the latter to 
love, and trust in, Righteousness." The one is faith 
in the All-powerful ; the other is faith in the All- 
righteous. The one is credulous without trustfulness ; 
it cries, " Except I see signs and wonders, I will not 
believe ; but I will make up for my unbelief by per 
suading myself that I see any number of signs and 
wonders, upon next to no evidence." The latter is 
trustful without credulity : " It is not Thy will that I 
should say I see what I do not see : but I will believe 
in Thee because of that which Thou hast revealed to 
me of Thyself. Thou hast rooted in my being the love 
of Thee and the trust in Thee, and, if I can be true to 
myself, to Thee I shall not be false." 

102. " Faith and Reason contrasted" 

It will be seen that in his sermon Newman wholly 
ignores this vital distinction between faith m fact and 
faith in motive ; and he consequently uses expressions, 
here and there, which tend to justify, or even excuse, 


a culpable carelessness in ascertaining matters of fact. 
In his mind, he often seems to be already dimly feel 
ing after a conception of faith as an altogether non- 
moral quality, as he defined it in his Roman period : 
" Catholics hold that faith does not imply love, obedi 
ence, or works. ... In fact it contemplates a gift 
which Protestantism does not imagine. Faith is a 
spiritual sight of the unseen ; and Protestantism has 
not the sight ; it does not see the unseen." As if any 
one could have " a spiritual sight " of God without 
"love"! But even those who would disclaim the 
Roman view are really adopting or approaching it 
when they try to distinguish faith from trust, and do 
not recognize that no belief in fact is of any spiritual 
profit except so far as it conduces to trust in God first 
as being Righteous and then as being Mighty. 

When Faith and Reason are contrasted, the former, 
he says, means easiness, the latter, difficulty of con 
viction ; and he proceeds to explain why the former 
demands less evidence. Faith " is influenced by pre 
vious notices, prepossessions, and (in a good sense of 
the word) prejudices " ; and he points out how often 
we are obliged to act on little evidence, having no 
time for minute investigations ; we take statements and 
even reports continually on trust without any investi 
gation at all ; men are largely influenced by their 
desires, so that they readily believe reports unfavourable 
to persons they dislike, and confirmations of theories of 
their own. " Trifles light as air " are all that the pre 
disposed mind requires for belief or action : " Whereas 
reason then (as the word is commonly used) rests on 
the evidence, Faith is influenced by presumptions ; 
and hence, while Reason requires rigid proofs, Faith is 
satisfied with vague or defective ones." This view, he 

I 2 


says, confirms the doctrines that " faith " is lk the sub 
stance of things hoped for" ; that it must be " formed 
by love" ; and that it must be " a supernatural princi 
ple/ " Love of the great Object of Faith, watchful atten 
tion to Him, readiness to believe Him near, easiness 
to believe Him interposing in human affairs, fear of the 
risk of slighting or missing what may really come from 
Him : these are feelings not natural to fallen man, and 
they come only of supernatural grace ; and these are 
the feelings which make us think evidence sufficient 
which falls short of a proof in itself." Among " in 
ferences and reflections " to which this doctrine " leads," 
he mentions the tendency of physical science to infidelity 
because it creates a liking for clear, and full, and a 
dislike for vague, and defective, evidence. 

Now, in all this, some things (i) are not to the 
point ; some (2) are ambiguous ; some (3) are not 


(i) That men "readily believe reports unfavourable 
to persons they dislike, or confirmations of theories of 
their own "just as the Jews believed " reports " about 
Jesus, or " confirmations " of their theories that He 
"had a devil "is true., but not to the point. Such a 
habit is, as the case may be, either reckless and lazy, or 
conceited, or uncharitable and malignant. So far from 
encouraging us to believe upon slight evidence, this 
blameworthy habit is a warning that we ought not 
thus to believe. 

(2) " Love of the great Object of Faith, watchful 
attention to Him, readiness to believe Him near, 
easiness to believe Him interposing in human affairs " 
this is ambiguous. Undoubtedly, true Faith loves 
and heeds its Object, and readily believes Him near : 
< If I climb up into heaven, thou art there; if I go 


down to hell thou art there also : " it feels sure that 
He is " near," even amid pain and sin and death ; and 
even when these evils (the source of which we know 
not) are doing their worst, it still trusts that He is 
subordinating them to His highest purposes. But 
this is quite a different thing from easiness to believe 
Him ^interposing" in human affairs. To the faithful 
Christian God does not seem to be occasionally " inter 
posing," but to be always present. If a man refuses 
to believe in the earthquake of Lisbon because he is 
convinced that God must have "interposed" to pre 
vent such a mass of destruction and misery, and be 
cause his faith in God would be shaken by recognition 
of the fact that is not faith but infidelity. 

(3) Faith " does not demand evidence so strong as 
is necessary for what is commonly considered a 
rational conviction . "*. . . because it is mainly 
swayed by antecedent considerations." This is not 
true, except in a loose and superficial sense. A man 
believes, in spite of some evidence for the charge, that 
his friend is not guilty of theft : true, but he has other 
evidence against the charge the character and habits 
of a life-time. He cannot put this latter evidence 
into a terse effective shape for legal purposes ; but even 
the law recognizes " evidence to character " and gives 
weight to it. Juries and judges cannot, and must not, 
give so much weight to it as the friend ; partly be 
cause time and space forbid that it should be fully 
placed before them ; partly because they are not in the 
Iriend s heart, so that they do not know his veracity. 
But the friend knows both these things, ist, all the 
evidence, 2nd, the veracity of the witness, i.e., himself. 
Consequently, if such a friend were said to believe, 
against the evidence," in the innocence of the ac- 


cused, that would be a mere pardonable and convenient 
(because brief) inaccuracy. The truth would be that 
he believes " upon the evidence"; only the "evidence," 
in his case includes, beside the " evidence " given in 
court, a good deal more that was not given in court ; 
so that his is the fuller and stronger of the two. To 
say therefore that he " does not demand evidence so 
strong as is necessary for what is commonly con 
sidered a rational conviction," is not really true. 

Instead of antecedent considerations" let us use 
the term " evidence to character." The latter will be 
found (for our purposes) to apply to the cases covered 
by the former expression ; and our minds will be much 
cleared by the substitution. Applying it to human 
beings, we see, ist, that "evidence to character" 
seldom applies to proof that a person has done, but 
almost always to proof that he has not done, this or 
that ; 2nd, that it applies with still more force to 
motives than to single facts ; for a good man may have 
done, for once, almost anything that is (outwardly) bad 
under the influence of drugs, liquor, hypnotism, or 
temporary cerebral derangement. But that his charac 
ter and motives should thus suddenly be transmuted, 
is most improbable. 

The same thing holds when we apply this kind of 
reasoning to our thoughts about God. " Antecedent 
considerations," or " evidences to character," will 
hardly go far to show that Gocl with His own hand, 
and by any special " interposition," must have stopped 
the sun, cast down the walls of Jericho, written a 
literally inspired Bible, or established an infallible 
Church. Nor will they go far to show us what He 
has not done, e.g., that He has not wrought the plague 
of London, or the French Revolution. On the con- 


trary, when we see how good arises from these evil 
things, as a clearer air after storms, we are disposed to 
stop short, and say simply this, " Whatever is good in 
things that seem evil, comes directly from God." For 
here, of course, the divine problem differs from the 
human in two respects. God must be always Himself : 
He cannot be turned from His course. That simpli 
fies. But the presence, the sometimes defiant presence, 
of evil in the world contending against good, compli 
cates : "an Adversary," we say, " may have done this 
or that/ Here, then, Faith steps in, and, without 
contradicting evidence, fastens on a Person as its pro 
vince : "We will not deny any facts that are proved 
to be facts. We will not presume to say always, or 
perhaps often, what facts have proceeded directly from 
God or from Evil. If we did, we might have passed, 
and might be continually passing, all sorts of hasty 
judgments which experience would compel us to 
reverse. All that we know is this, The good that 
is done in the world, God doeth it Himself." 

(4) Besides these three positive faults in Newman s 
sermon, there is a negative one, a fault of omission. 
Newman indicates, and truly, that Faith is a much 
more common basis for action in ordinary life than is 
sometimes supposed. But he omits to state what is 
the object of that kind of faith which is absolutely 
essential to our physical and social life and to its rudi 
mentary actions. It is, Faith that what has been, will 
be, in other words, Faith in the stability of the Laws 
of Nature, or, as we may call them, the Promises of 
God. Without this we could not form a single plan, 
we could scarcely move a limb. Destroy this faith, 
and you destroy mankind : "I, the Lord, change not , 
therefore ye, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed." 


Even in the most elementary discussion of the subject 
some mention should have been made of this all-per 
vading Faith. But to insert this, would not have 
prepared the reader for those encroachments and 
annexations which Newman desires to achieve for 
Faith at the cost of Experience and Reason.* 

103. " / really do think I have defined Reason " 

The second sermon contains the famous definition of 
Reason. It is as follows : 

" Reason does not really perceive anything ; but it is a t faculty 
of proceeding from things that are perceived to things that are not 

Under " things that are not perceived" he includes, 
of course, not only things accidentally, but also things 
essentially, removed from the action of the senses. A 
friend may be, but a thought must be, of this class. 
Then, after saying that the senses are deficient, because 
their action is limited by conditions of time, space, 
and intervening medium, he repeats his definition : 

" Now reason is that t faculty of the mind by which this deficiency 
is supplied, by which knowledge of things external to us, of beings, 
facts, and events, is attained beyond the range of sense/ 

The object of constructing this ample definition of 
Reason is that it may include Faith. And now he is 
able, almost syllogistically, to prove that faith is reason 
able, or which is his way of looking at the matter 
that it is sometimes conformable to Reason to accept 
less evidence than Reason generally requires. He 
assumes, of course, that Faith is a process, not only by 


which we may, but also by which we do, arrive at truth. 
The rest is simple : 

(1) Faith is a process by which we arrive at Truth 
in things beyond the range of sense. 

(2) Reason is that facility of the mind by which we 
attain knowledge of things beyond the range of sense. 

(3) Therefore Faith is an exercise of Reason. 

He now proceeds to give us different " processes of 
Faith," or " exercises of Reason " : 

" the process being such as the following : I assent to this doc 
trine as true, because I have been taught it ; or, because superiors 
tell me so ; or, because good men think so ; or, because very 
different men think so ; or, because all men ; or, most men ; or, 
because it is established ; or, because persons whom I trust say it 
was once guaranteed by miracles ; or, because one who is said to 
have wrought miracles or, who says he wrought them, has taught 
it ; or, because I have seen one who saw the miracles ; or be 
cause I saw what I took to be a miracle : or for all or some of these 
reasons together. Some such exercise of Reason is the act of Faith, 
considered in its nature." 

Could we regard this as a mere dialectical game, this 
would be amusing enough. If you choose to define 
u a heavenly body " as any inanimate mass, moving, or 
suspended, in the air, and then go on to argue that a 
cannon-ball and a balloon are " heavenly bodies," 
nobody can find fault with your logic but only with 
your abuse of leisure. And it comes to much the 
same thing here : Reason is so defined as to include 
Faith. Then Faith is pronounced to be " an exercise 
of Reason." Then, of course, it becomes " an exercise 
of Reason" to "assent to a doctrine because a man 
has been taught it." A very cleverly selected instance ! 
For sometimes it is reasonable to assent in this way. 
But why ? Because a person has found by experience 
that those who have " taught " him, have told the 


truth; so that such "assent" has been justified by 
results. Then, and only then is it " reasonable " (we 
should hardly call it " an exercise of Reason " except 
in extreme cases where evidence for and against assent 
had to be weighed) to assent to doctrine on no other 
grounds but the authority of the " teacher." But 
Newman, by giving this the first place among his 
" processes of Faith," or "exercises of Reason," and 
then by suppressing the evidence and experience on 
which the act is based, prepares his readers for here 
after regarding as " an exercise of Reason," what will 
in fact deserve no better title than an exercise of blind, 
almost wilful, and sometimes really immoral, credulity. 


" God exercises its with less evidence " 

Out of this misleading definition (which Newman 
abandons in future sermons) arises a cloud of vague 
ness under cover of which the preacher makes a number 
of assertions, some of them true, but with qualifications 
which he does not insert ; others true, but only in a 
sense, and that not a common sense ; others not true 
at all. Thus we are told that "in practical matters, 
when their minds are really roused, men commonly are 
not bad reasoners," "they may argue badly, but they 
reason well." I do not deny that in some instances it 
may be true. But it ought to have been explained and 
qualified. For take the mob in Shakespeare s Juliiis 
Cccsar: their minds were " really roused " by Mark 
Antony ; they certainly did " argue badly " about the 
character of the Dictator 

" he would not take the crown : 
Therefore tis certain he was not ambitious. 


But did they reason well " ? Had not their " reason 
ing " a good deal to do with certain pecuniary con 
siderations about " Caesar s will " ? And is not this a 
type of the " reasoning " of many multitudes when 
" their minds are roused " ? If the sentence had been 
altered to "when they are left to themselves, and their 
minds are not roused," there would have been more 
sense in that. Perhaps Newman might retort, "In 
Julius C&sar, men s passions were roused ; I said, 
their minds." In other words, he meant " their 
reasons or understandings," i.e. ; " a man reasons well 
when his reason is roused." Was that worth saying?* 

Again, " As then the senses may and do deceive us, 
and yet we trust them from a secret instinct, so it need 
not be weakness or rashness, if, upon a certain presen 
timent of mind, we trust to the fidelity of testimony 
offered for a revelation." 

In the first place, how do our senses deceive us ? 
Say, by reporting a spot on a window-pane, as a bird ; 
or a piece of paper, as snow ; or the sun, as moving. 
But how could the "report" about "bird," "snow," 
" sun," " moving," come before our minds at all without 
some exercise of memory, comparison, and judgment 
in other words without some exercise of Reason ? It 
is not therefore our senses, but our inferences from 
our sensations, that (sometimes) deceive us, When 
we find by experience that particular inferences of this 
kind do not " work " we correct them till they do 
" work." In the next place, it is not " from a secret 
instinct," but (at all events very largely) from ex 
perience that we place this " trust " in our senses and 
in our common inferences from them. Similarly, so 
far as " testimony " relates to facts (whether connected 
with Revelation or not), we are not to trust it " upon a 


certain presentiment of the mincl," but upon experience 
and reason.* 

Newman s next step is to urge that, in proportion to 
the desirableness" of any knowledge, will be the 
" subtlety " of the evidence for it ; so that in religion, 
the highest of all subjects, common people ought to 
be prepared not to have the power of appreciating the 
evidence, and to believe without it. And he calls this 
a " law." But what knowledge is more desirable than 
that of the art of living well ? Is not this attainable 
by the most simple-minded ? Opposite "laws" seem 
to hold for intellectual and for moral subjects. For 
astronomy and the highest mathematics, the evidences, 
or proofs, are " subtle " ; but as to morality or righteous 
ness, is it not true that theological and sacerdotal 
specialists, pretending to minute discriminations of the 
means of propitiating God and of attaining various 
stages of sanctity, have very often gone wrong, and 
have been beaten out of the field by plain people 
who shrink from making such pretensions ? 

We are next led on to see that it is a merit in itself 
to believe anything about God that comes to us with 
the authority of Tradition and upon small evidence. 
k God exercises us," he says, "with less evidence 
when He might give us the greater." I have pointed 
out above that it is somewhat doubtful and hazardous 
to say " God does," in any special way, this or that, 
when " this " or " that " may be the result of evil. And 
is it not also a little presumptuous to say that "He 
might" do this or that which He has not done ? But 
passing over this, surely we may find another way 
in which God "exercises us with less evidence" 
than Reason demands. We are thus "exercised" re 
peatedly. But what is the lesson we learn from the 


" exercise " ? It is this : that conclusions based on in 
adequate evidence are almost always untrue, so that it 
is wrong to draw them. 

However, Newman goes on to say that we are to 
examine the evidence indeed "with our best judg 
ment, reject this, and accept that, but still, all the 
while, as loving Him in our turn." Love of God, 
certainly is not to be excluded from any study of facts. 
But when he acids that we are to study them, "not 
coldly and critically, but with the light of His presence, 
and the reflection that, perchance, by the defects of 
the evidence, He is trying our love of its matter " 
here is an obvious non sequitur. Why should not 
God, by the defects of the evidence" be "trying our 
love " of the truth ? Why may He not be trying 
whether we will love and trust Him upon a basis of 
His truth, instead of a basis of our fiction ? Grant 
that, to some people, a particular incident is evidence 
of God s " nearness": grant that by the removal of 
that incident, there will be for them a "defect of the 
evidence " : what then ? May not God, by this very 
"defect of the evidence," be " trying their love of its 
matter," i.e., of His nearness" ? 

Proceeding, however, on the supposition that it is 
filial, generous, and almost noble, to believe readily in 
any statement about God that comes to us with some 
kind of ecclesiastical authority, Newman hence argues 
that light is thereby thrown on "the indirectness of 
the Scripture proof on which the Catholic doctrines" 
rest. Then he argues, "According as objects are 
great, the mode of attaining them is extraordinary ! " 
Is that so ? Why should an extraordinary object be 
attained in none but extraordinary modes, any more 
than fat oxen should be driven by a fat driver ? or any 


other cause produced by some effect similar to it ? 
Men of great genius often attain great objects by very 
simple and ordinary means and modes. Even if it 
were not so in science and art, yet in religion we are 
led to suppose that the highest communion with God 
is attained by very plain and simple methods open to 
all ; by obeying " the still small voice," by offering the 
" widow s mite," observing the " trivial round " and 
the " common task." 

105. The Understanding, a " sacrifice^ to God 

But Newman s view of Faith, as a kind of noble 
sacrifice, not to say self-mutilation, makes him regard 
religion as a kind of commercial speculation, in which, 
if you engage at all, you had better do things, not like 
a pedlar, but like a merchant, in a large, liberal, and 
even magnificent way. It is, after all, a kind of " ven 
ture." The following passage would indicate his belief 
that even the teacher and prophet of religious truth 
may not feel certain. Or his certitude may be only 
felt by fits and starts. No matter. He has made the 
venture, and must now go through with it. And here 
he seems not to be speaking without some reference to 
his own occasional difficulty of " realising things," and 
his painful sense that he is sometimes dependent upon 
others for convictions : 

"The religious enthusiast bows the hearts of men to a voluntary 
obedience, who has the keenness to see, and the boldness to appeal 
to, principles and feelings deep buried within them, which they know 
not themselves, which he himself but by glimpses and at times 
realizes, and which he pursues from the intensity, not the steadiness 
of his view of them/ 


Hence follows the conclusion : 

"He that fails nine times and succeeds the tenth, is a more 
honourable man than he who hides his talent in a napkin ; and so, 
even though the feelings which prompt us to see God in all things, 
and to recognize supernatural works in matters of the world, mislead 
us at times, though they make us trust in evidence which we ought 
not to admit, and partially incur with justice the imputation of 
credulity, yet a Faith which generously apprehends Eternal Truth, 
though at times it degenerates into superstition, is far better than 
that cold, sceptical, critical tone of mind, which has no inward sense 
of an over-ruling, ever-present Providence, no desire to approach its 
God, but sits at home waiting for the fearful clearness of His visible 
coming, whom it might seek and find in due measure amid the 
twilight of the present world." 

If this passage were attacked as being a recommen 
dation of credulity, we can easily imagine the effective 
reply of the preacher : " I said nothing of the kind. 
To say that drunkenness is, after all, far better than 
murder, adultery, or theft surely that is not praising 
drunkenness. I only said that a faith that sometimes 
degenerates into superstition is far better than a cold 
scepticism." True. Yet by the words " fails nine times 
and succeeds the tenth," he prepares us for a " faith " 
that leads us repeatedly astray and hardly ever right. 
By honourable" and " generously " and "prompt to 
see God," he implies praise. By his description of 
"cold" scepticism, with "no desire to approach its 
God," waiting for the " fearful " clearness of His coming, 
he altogether ignores that other legitimate and trustful 
scepticism which is born of reverence and love of God ; 
and which is sceptical, not of God s spiritual presence, but 
of the legends or lies upon which ignorance and faith 
lessness have erected a crumbling fabric which they 
call His "interpositions." I do not know how to in 
terpret with strict exactness the words "partially incur- 


ring with justice the imputation of credulity": but it 
appears to be a loose way of saying "guilty of credulity, 
only with extenuating circumstances," and the preacher 
evidently extenuates more than he condemns. 

The whole of the passage, and its context, not only 
excuse, but almost justify, false anticipations and false 
explanations which are almost sure to lead to false ac 
counts of facts connected with religion. We are led to 
suppose that it is " honourable" to believe and this as 
to alleged facts nine times wrongly if one believes right 
the tenth time ; a " sacrifice " of what is commonly 
called reason is described as " the condition of honour " ; 
we are to " sow " our credulity broadcast in order that 
here and there it may turn out to be legitimate faith ; 
we are "to launch out into the deep" (that is to say, 
the sea of "it-may-be," and " who-knows-if ? " and 
" what-is-there-to-prevent ?"), and to "let down the 
nets " of a capacious superstition for " a draught " of 
anything that may appear in the shape of an "inter 
position " ! Doubtless God demands from us a sacri 
fice, but not such a sacrifice as this. What has He 
done to us that we should think so meanly of Him as 
to suppose that He bestowed on us the gift of reason in 
order that, when we use it to draw near to Him, it may 
guide us into nine falsehoods, for once that it leads us 
to the truth ? 



$ 1 06. The most prominent person" in the New 


:< I DO not consider that for them I am going too 
fast " : so Newman wrote to Keble toward the end 
of 1838. By the emphatic "them," he meant the 
young and rising Tractarians ; and the tone of the 
letter implies that he did not at that time dislike their 
forcing the pace a little : " One cannot stop still. 
Shrewd minds anticipate objections, oblige one to say 
Yes or No/ These men entered late into the Move 
ment and knew it only as a success. The differences 
of opinion that had prevailed, at starting, among the 
leaders; the slow up-hill progress at first; the im 
mense debt which the cause owed to its association 
with the name of Oxford ; the anxiety with which the 
Leader had avoided extreme expressions and actions 
that might have provoked opposition from the Uni 
versity authorities; the need that still existed of 
caution, temporizing, and " economy " of all this 
they had had no experience. 

In 1833 Newman hardly ventured to disown the 
name of Protestant and call himself a Catholic, except 
to private friends, or else with careful explanations : 



but the young auxiliaries who joined the Tractarian 
forces in 1839 began as " Catholics" from the first. 
Eager, acute, incautious, uncompromising, they saw 
no reason why they should not move on at once to 
a high Catholic ideal ; and the nearest approach to 
this they found in Rome. There they saw a system 
not on paper, but in full working order ; imperfect 
certainly, but with its imperfections hidden, and its 
grandeur enlarged, by the mist of a partial knowledge. 
There is a quiet and hardly unintentional irony in the 
antithesis of the Apologia which tells us that these 
young men knew nothing about the Via Media, but 
had heard much about Rome. Though some of them 
are said to have had "shrewd minds," their shrewdness 
mainly took a logical turn and did not deal with facts. 
Their knowledge was not in proportion to their dia 
lectical skill. Of average human English nature, and 
of its deep and rooted anti- Roman prejudices, they do 
not seem to have known much ; and even in that 
province of ecclesiastical Antiquity where they might 
have been expected to be experts, the shrewdest and 
keenest of all these new allies was fond of confessing 
himself portentously ignorant. This was W. G. Ward, 
Fellow and Mathematical Tutor of Balliol, whose 
accession" to "good principles" Newman mentions 
as "very important" in a letter written in the spring 
of 1839. 

If we are to trust the Apologia, however, Ward was 
not "the most prominent person" in the new contingent. 
This title is reserved for another, not expressly named * 
in the first edition of that work, but described by the 
insertion of just those characteristics which Ward had 
not, so as to make it quite certain that, whoever 
else might be meant, the author did not mean Ward. 


This person is described as "of elegant genius"; 
whereas Ward was rough and uncouth in style, 
though vigorous and incisive in conversation. His 
age is said to have been nearly Newman s, whereas 
Ward was eleven years younger ; and the title, " almost 
a typical Oxford man," none would apply to Ward s 
striking, odd, original, and irregular character. Again, 
he is credited with a "classical mind" and "a rare 
talent in literary composition " ; Ward was an able 
mathematician, and his composition was cumbrous. 
." Both in political and ecclesiastical views" the former 
is said to have been " of one spirit with the Oriel 
party of 1826-1833"; Ward, even when he joined 
the Tractarians, was still a pronounced Radical. 
Lastly, whereas we learn from Ward s biography that 
there were " later differences " between him and New 
man, when both were in the Roman Church, the 
Apologia somewhat pointedly says, about this "most 
prominent person": "Quite recently, he has been 
taking several signal occasions of renewing that kind 
ness which he ever showed towards me when we 
were both in the Anglican Church." Clearly, then, 
if we are to trust the Apologia, there is no use in 
spending much time over Mr. Ward. 

But there is reason to think that the Apologia does 
not represent the facts. Indeed that very work, 
after thus elaborately describing "the most prominent 
person " in " the new school of thought " which " was 
sweeping the original party aside," goes on to indicate 
that this "person" played a passive rather than an 
active part. He would have been says the Apologia 
of one mind with the Old Party but, as he entered 
late into the Movement, he was naturally thrown 
together with " that body of eager, acute, resolute 

K 2 


minds who had begun their Catholic life about the 
same time as he ; who knew nothing about the Via 
Media, but had heard much about Rome." The obvi 
ous conclusion is that " thrown together with " means 
" absorbed into," and that this "most prominent 
person" was led, rather than a leader. 

Other evidence confirms this conclusion. Later 
editions of the Apologia supply the name omitted in 
the first. It was Oakeley, afterwards minister of 
Margaret Chapel in London, who is described by 
Dean Church as "without much learning, but master 
of a facile and elegant pen" ; "a man who followed a 
trusted leader with chivalrous boldness, and was not 
afraid of strengthening his statements " ; and as one of 
Ward s allies, but inferior to the latter in " force and 
originality." This agrees with what we learn from 
other sources.*" Oakeley s gentle and more passive 
nature was guided by his stronger friend, whose theo 
logical principles he adopted to the full. Humorous 
contrasts were drawn between this Damon and this 
Pythias, so different in manner and gifts : the one so 
impetuous, abrupt, and logical ; the other elegant, 
literary, quiet, reticent ; between Ward s large figure, 
heavy tread, loud voice, and hearty laugh, and 
Oakeley s spare frame, halting step, and shy demea 
nour, when the latter, in answer to his "Come along, 
Oakeley," "hopped" after him like a magpie after an 
elephant, following his chief to do dialectical battle 
along with him in some Tractarian conflict. They 
were an inseparable pair, but Ward always in front. 

Oakeley was not, and Ward was, the possessor of 
one of those "shrewd minds" which would not let 
Newman stop still, and obliged him to " say Yes or No. 
It is interesting to find that the only mention of Ward 


in the Apologia is in a letter in which this very phrase 
is mentioned, though not so complacently as before. 
In 1842 Pusey wrote to ask Newman whether he 
agreed with Ward. The latter replied that he did 
not know the limits of his own opinions : "If Ward 
says this or that is a development from what I have 

said, I cannot say Yes or No It is a nuisance 

to me to be forced beyond what I can fairly accept." 
Many of Newman s friends resented this "nuisance" 
much more vehemently than Newman himself. " There 
is no doubt," says Dean Church, " that Mr. Newman 
felt the annoyance and unfairness of this perpetual 
questioning for the sake of Mr. Ward s theories": 
"I regard him," says James Mozley, "as a sort of 
Frankenstein a person made differently from other 
men ; just to teach us how badly people get on who 
are guided simply, as they think, by reason ; despising 
instincts, sympathies, and all the nameless humanities 
that make up a man." No one attacks Oakeley, every 
one attacks Ward, for thus "forcing" Newman s hand. 
These attacks, of themselves, would suffice to show 
who was the leader of the advanced band. It is to 
Ward and not to Oakeley that we must turn, as " the 
most prominent person " among the new allies the 
Yes-or-No contingent of the Tractarian forces. 

107. W. G. Ward 

Yet there is some difficulty in perceiving how such 

a man as this should have done what Pusey scarcely 

did at all, and Keble in only a slight degree. In 

dialectic keenness, impatience of conventionality, and 

| love of straight courses, Ward resembled Hurrell 

1 Froude : but he had not Froucle s inner fire, nor his 


concentration, nor his severity of stern asceticism, 
nor his self-dependence and freedom from fitful moods 
and passions, nor his dignified grace of manner. 
Never could he, for Newman, fill Froude s place. 

Ward s chief influence was a social one, from his 
bright conversation flashing with paradoxes, and from 
his perfect skill in logical fence, combined with perfect 
recklessness of consequences. As he had little sense 
of beauty of form (actually needing a friend like 
Clough to " interpret" a landscape for him), so too 
he was deficient in intuitive recognition of the grace 
and bloom of life ; so that no awe for the abysmal 
possibilities of humanity, no loving reverence for the 
inexpressible lessons conveyed by domestic inter 
course, deterred him from attacking every position 
with the scaling-ladder of his logic : " Why," he would 
ask, " should a man be fonder of father, mother, 
brother and sister than of strangers ? " To say that 
Nature dictated it, provoked, at once, the retort, that, 
if his nature did not dictate it, no one could prove 
that he was bound by what other people s nature 
dictated to them. 

This story takes us to what was fundamental in 
Ward s doctrine. He had no belief in, and no respect 
for, " nature," in himself or others. To an argument 
based on the Fifth Commandment he would have 
listened deferentially, but would have pointed out 
that " honouring" does not imply "liking." That it 
is a law of healthy nature that men love one another 
the more they know one another as much a law as 
that particles of matter attract one another in propor 
tion to their nearness perhaps never occurred to 
him, or seemed not to the point. " Why should it 
be a great matter to me that I and another sprang 


from the same womb?"- said a young philosopher to 
an old one some two thousand years ago, and was 
promptly rebuked for his unnaturalness. Yet this 
exactly expresses Ward s temper : he did not mind 
being unnatural, provided he was logical. 

Unnaturalness pervaded even his Christianity. No 
Mohammedan could have more completely ignored 
than he, in one of his dicta, the revelation of God s 
Fatherhood. Our attitude towards Him, he taught, 
must be that of a creature towards its Creator, and 
therefore "abject." When a foolish person would 
have corrected him and have substituted "deference" 
for " abjectness," we might have expected that Ward 
would have flashed up into pious indignation at this 
ill-chosen, and almost profane, attempt to express 
"filial devotion"; but here again the nature of the 
man broke out. Though he was always trying to be 
abject," he seldom succeeded in being, at heart, even 
decently reverent for many minutes together. The 
whole thing was a game, a dialectical contest. Instead 
of being horrified at the profanity of this advocate of 
" deference," or genuinely saddened, or seriously 
alarmed by such spiritual ignorance, the mistake was 
to him "intensely ludicrous"; and "his delight and 
sense of its absurdity was unbounded." Was not 
James Mozley right, and was there not something of 
the " Frankenstein " in such a man as this, who, while 
calling on humanity to prostrate itself abjectly before 
the Creator could feel an "unbounded delight" that 
He was misinterpreted by one of His own creatures ? 

The comic element in Ward might well be supposed 
to have told against him with Newman. His love of 
paradox made it difficult to take him seriously. " Make 
yourself clear that you are justified in deception and 


then lie like a trooper " has a wholesome honest ring- 
about it ; but it would repel a mind conversant with 
questions of "economy," " reserve," and the like. 
Not less startling was his dictum : "If any man be 
called moderate, or venerable, beware of him ; if he 
be called both, you may be sure he is a scoundrel." 
He would smile on a man with the most affectionate 
sweetness and assure him in the gentlest and most 
genial tone that his views were "base" and "detest 
able." This he could do, of course, because the whole 
thing partook of the nature of a contest of skill ; so 
that in the most ardent discussion of the deepest 
subjects he could always keep his temper. But though 
this gave him a great polemical advantage it did not 
help him to persuade : and sometimes he gave his 
friends more trouble than his enemies. 

His manner, too, as well as his mind, was essentially 
comic. At Winchester his schoolfellows noticed his 
elephantine ways, and when he came out at Oxford 
as a conversationalist, his personal clumsiness is said 
to have set off the vivacity and nimbleness of his 
joyous moods. He was a great musical critic and an 
admirable buffo singer. He delighted to intersperse 
his mathematical lessons with talk about the operas, 
in which he was well up. Prevented by weak health 
from fasting, he once determined, at Pusey s sug 
gestion, to observe Lent by abstaining from music ; 
but an amusing story tells how his resolution gave 
way, and how he was led by downward steps from 
unimpeachably sacred music to one of the merriest 
and raciest of buffo songs, till one of his companions 
in this musical debauch suddenly reminded him that 
Pusey lived next door. On another occasion, when 
a Balliol tutor was alarmed by unusual noises over 


his head, he was reassured by a tolerant scout, " It s 
honly Mr. Ward, Sir, a-hacting of a cherubim." 

All this, one would have thought, would have made 
a great gulf between him and a man so reserved, so 
essentially non-social as Newman. Nor can it be said, 
in explanation, that Ward supplemented Newman 
where the latter was weakest, that is, in knowledge of 
ecclesiastical, and especially mediaeval, history. Of 
facts of almost]every kind he knew very little. When he 
was a boy of twelve, he asked where soles "grew" But 
of history he delighted to confess a portentous ignor 
ance. He " took his facts," he said, from Newman." 
Just before formally joining the Tractarians, he had 
an interview with Bonamy Price at Rugby, in order 
that he might go through the form of hearing what 
was to be said on the other side. Hereon, Price 
elicited from Ward that he was in total ignorance as 
to the facts on which the Tractarian doctrines were 
based. Ward demonstrated, on his side, that, since 
Price s teaching led logically to infidelity, the facts on 
which it was based must necessarily be false. So the 
combatants parted ; Ward none the less confident 
than before, as was natural ; for he did not care so 
much about facts as about a logical system. 

Still, this deficiency of Ward s makes our problem 
the more difficult. That Ward, knowing nothing of 
anything except music, plays, logic, and mathematics, 
should have formulated as his creed, " Credo in New- 
m annum " this is intelligible enough : but it is not so 
easy to understand how the keen and subtle logician 
who led the Tractarian Party was forced to deviate 
from his route, or to accelerate his march, by one 
who, logician though he was, was not perhaps, in this 
respect, far superior to himself; and this, too, a man 


of such a restless, discursive, motley disposition, who 
was so habitually given to bewildering and startling 
his friends by his abrupt and uncouth transitions from 
religious metaphysics into the realms of the very 
lightest and frothiest merriment, that they familiarly 
likened him to "Thomas Aquinas dancing a ballet"! 

1 08. How it came to pass that Ward made Newman 
say " Yes" or "No" when he did not wish to 

Yet a closer examination would show that Ward s 
superficial qualities a little deceived his Oxford friends, 
and concealed a character which, in some points, might 
well claim affinity with Newman s, or at least might 
appeal to it. Newman was given to melancholy ; and 
Ward had fits of depression that almost amounted to 
disease. Like Newman, Ward had never been a boy, 
and had never known the free delights of childhooc 
The charms of country life seem never to have at 
tracted him ; he had no eye for beauty of form, eithei 
in nature or in art. Games, too, he never cared for. 
The theatre was the great delight of his boyhood till 
the curtain fell ; and then came a reaction, sometimes 
moving him even to tears. Between the acts, he could 
not chat, or wait, but must needs be reading something, 
mostly mathematics. At a party, he would sit by 
himself, silent, biting his nails, looking bored to death ; 
and on one occasion he bluntly told his hostess that he 
not only looked, but was, bored after which he fled 
home by himself through the mud. Poetry and novels 
he despised. What had such a boy as this to do with 
boyhood ? 

When he went to Winchester things were but 
little better. The morality of the place was then bad, 


and the recollection of it filled him with "horror," 
which he carried with him to the grave. But he did 
not try to stem the stream. Not that he could have 
done much. A true " forty years in the wilderness " 
are four years in a public school, when, against a few 
who love evil, and amid the many who love neither 
good nor evil, one alone stands up for the good. But 
there is no evidence that Ward ever put himself out of 
the way to make things better. He was content if 
he could follow his own ways quietly without caring 
much for those of others." Except to abstractions, 
he was always blind. He never could fasten up a 
parcel or a package ; and once he returned to a scout 
an uncut pencil with the remark that it would not 
write. But his chief blindness he reserved for human 
nature. In time, he became Senior Prefect ; and then 
he was forced, in the way of duty, to enforce some 
kind of order. But he knew so little of what was 
going on around him that, under his prefectship, there 
was a thing almost unheard of at an English Public 
School an outbreak of the lower boys against the 
rule of the upper ones ; and he seriously injured one 
of the rebels in defending himself against their attacks. 
With so many avenues of natural and almost ne 
cessary happiness thus closed against him, did he 
exaggerate his own disadvantages when he declared 
that he had never known what it was to be a 
boy and that melancholy was the background of his 

There was, however, a great difference between the 
melancholy of Newman, and what, in Ward, we ought 
perhaps rather to call intermittent hypochondria. 
With Newman melancholy was almost voluntary ; he 
rather liked to be alone ; and if solitude brought 


dejection, he found a sweetness in it ; he " seemed 
never to be so near heaven as then." Ward s feeling 
was quite different. He had immense capacities for 
enjoyment, accompanied by constant headaches which 
forced him to seek enjoyment, not in work, but in the 
lightest amusement. At Winchester there was a kind 
of Saturnalia once a year, when the junior boys were 
allowed to "peal" (i.e., " appeal," or bestow some 
characteristic "appellation" on) their masters the Pre 
fects; and the "peal" for Ward, the Senior Prefect, 
was " Three three-halfpenny oranges, a bun, and a 
halfpenny fig/ in memory of his habitually exact dis 
tribution of sixpence in eatables sold at the gate 
before going into morning school." Boys are great 
portrait-painters, and we may infer that, even at a 
public school where the public fare was hard, and 
supplemented from private sources this daily dissi 
pation in a Senior Prefect struck them as odd. His 
father, besides being an authority on finance, was 
a man of splendid constitution and an unrivalled 
cricketer ; his mother, a great mathematician : and 
this Winchester "peal" perhaps may help us to un 
derstand the struggle between a strong, heavy, and 
somewhat sluggish physique, and an uncontrollable 
restlessness of abstract and unimaginative thought. 
It was as though Caliban and Ariel had to draw up 
a programme for joint amusement ; and now it was 
" three three-halfpenny oranges " and comic opera, 
and " hacting of a cherubim"; and presently it was 
mathematics, and Suarez, and complines, and vespers, 
and The Ideal of a Christian Church : or, sometimes, 
the pair agreed on a piece that could please them 
both, and then it was " Thomas Aquinas dancing a 


Hence it was that in religion, as in other dis 
tractions, he required to be immediately and incisively 
impressed. Otherwise he was bored. Long- before 
he joined the Tractarians, he used to go to mass in a 
Romanist chapel for the sake of the music and its aid 
to his devotions. If he was asked to supply such aids 
from his own imagination, he could not do it ; for he 
had not the faculty. The Anglican Communion Ser 
vice, he said, bored him to death ; if he must needs go 
to it, he must be allowed at all events to go to the 
theatre first. So little notion had he of real spiritual 
awe, that, to the last, he seems to have retained the 
belief of his youth that " to excite any degree of 
reverence an instantaneous effect must be felt." 

The quiet processes of nature, the gradual develop 
ments of things, the slow lessons of life, the still 
small voices in humanity and history these instilled 
into him no awe whatever : he was impervious to 
everything except what we may call the slap-bang i 
impressions, which nature seldom deigns to convey. 
But nature s recalcitration was no objection to our 
Frankenstein. If Newman was on his guard against 
nature, Ward was absolutely dead to her : the one 
may be called anti-natural, the other (in a sense) un 
natural. Authority therefore, in religion, which at 
tracted the former, would prove absolutely irresistible 
to the latter, if only it could instantaneously captivate 
him. Nor would he be in the least repelled by any 
seeming violations of nature or nature s laws. The 
one thing needful was that the aching void within him 
should be filled by something satisfying to his physical 
nature, and not at variance with the laws of loeic and 


abstract thought. As for " facts " he knew nothing 
about them. They " bored " him. If the doctrines of 


a religion were true, it seemed certain that the facts 
on which it was based could not be false. 

Yet there had been a time when he had admired 
the teaching of Arnold. Its freedom from cant at 
tracted him, its genuine recognition of true liberty 
and the claims of the poor, its deep, sober, and pious 
earnestness. Newman s Lectures on " Popular Pro 
testantism " he had heard and admired, but they were 
too controversial, perhaps, to touch his heart. To 
friends who urged him to hear one of Newman s 
sermons at St. Mary s, he replied, u Why should I 
go and listen to such myths ? " But, one afternoon, 
passing St. Mary s porch, he yielded to a repeated 
request and went in. That moment was the begin 
ning of a personal influence on the part of Newman, 
such as Ward had never felt before. The publication 
of Froude s Remains early in 1838 brought matters 
to a head, and this, perhaps, caused Ward s formal 
adhesion ; but, before that time, he was ready to be 
convinced, only feeling that the Via Media did not go 
far enough. Practically, therefore, Newman himself, 
and nothing else, was the secret of Ward s conversion. 
It was not Newman s controversial or intellectual 
powers, it was that he brought home to the heart of 
his new follower the reality of a definite system more 
satisfying to him than the doctrine of Arnold. Sug 
gested by Newman, this was more fully and out 
spokenly developed in Froude s Remains, the publica 
tion of which made him "leap for joy," and declare 
that he had now found what he wanted. But New 
man, and no one else, he owned as his intellectual 
parent in religious matters. Probably he owed him 
more than this : something beyond a " system," some 
thing of that debt which Lockhart avowed a sense, 


clear or vague, that, through Newman, he felt, as he 
had never felt before, that inexpressible Presence 
which seems to betoken God. 

Is it not intelligible that such a convert as this 
should have appealed powerfully to Newman s respon 
sive sense of what was due from a leader to followers, 
especially to one who trusted him so blindly that he 
accepted facts at once on his authority and took him 
almost as his very Creed ? Coming to Newman as to 
a fountain of freshness, as to the shadow of a great 
rock in the barren and dry land of his own solitary 
depressions, was it strange that Ward found him ready 
at least to listen sympathetically ? And, after listening, 
when it came to answering, who can be surprised if 
the Leader, being what he was, tried to answer sym 
pathetically too ? Did it occur to him that Ward was 
deficient in reverence ? But how ? If his new follower 
was a little too much given to trampling on men s con 
ventions, yet, as a set-off, was he not ready to be 
" abject " towards God ? Nor was it likely that the 
mixing of things sacred and grotesque, the conversion 
of religious discussion into sportive polemics, the abrupt 
transitions from "Thomas Aquinas" to " dancing a 
ballet," would be obtruded on his spiritual parent. If 
Newman now and then caught glimpses of it, he knew 
enough of his own nature to be well aware that a man 
might be superficially mirthful, and yet, at heart, 
" shudder at himself." 

To a leader largely dependent upon externals, given 
to wait for " signs/ and doubting whether to advance 
or stand still, this new ally may well have appeared 
as a kind of token that it was " intended " that he 
should go forward. For here was one who, in 
thoroughness, straightforwardness, unflinching honesty, 


and hatred of shams, appeared to recall the dead friend 
whose Breviary always lay upon his table. Under a 
very different shape, and with many contrasts of expres 
sion, in Ward s progressive interrogations, and pro 
gressive suggestions of conclusions following irresistibly 
upon premises, Newman might think he heard nothing 
less than a message from Hurrell Froude, once more 
urging him to speak out, and protesting against his 
* economies." Could human being be more honest ? 
Did he know any one more free from prejudice ? Who 
could be more open to see logical difficulties and yet 
more ready to believe in religious Authority? Who 
was less disposed to put a vain trust in the teachings 
of nature or in the promptings of his own heart ? 
Were there not in Ward almost all the elements 
needed for the attainment of truth ? When such a 
man, noted throughout Oxford for his social brightness, 
his genial vigour, and his skill in controversy, came to 
the head of the Tractarian Party in the attitude of a 
pupil asking whether the teacher meant this or that, 
was it strange that the latter should feel bound to say 
yes, or no, to the best of his ability, and that having 
said yes, he should feel bound to adhere to it, if 
possible ? 

109. Who was to blame ? 

So natural was all this that neither pupil nor teacher 
would seem to require excuse, the one for asking ques 
tions, the other for trying to answer. Yet one of 
Newman s ablest friends declares that Newman " felt 
the annoyance and the unfairness of this perpetual 
questioning for the benefit of Mr. Ward s theories, and 
there can be little doubt that, in effect, it drove him 
onward and cut short his time of waiting." The 


Tractarian chief is condoled with, because in this case, 
the simple rule of " answering a fool according to his 
folly " could not be put in use. " When the asker is 
no fool, but one of the sharpest-witted of mankind, 
asking with little consideration for the condition or the 
wishes of the answerer, with great power to force the 
answer he wants, and with no great tenderness in the 
use he makes of it, the situation becomes a trying 

Why " trying," for a teacher to answer questions, 
for a leader to lead ? The only contingency that would 
make it " trying " would be, if the leader had not made 
up his mind about the route and would not confess it. 
But who could have supposed that ? Surely it would 
have been, at that time, an insult, at all events in a 
devoted disciple, even to suspect such a thing for a 
moment. Grant that Ward, with his general blindness, 
did not perceive Newman s embarrassment and annoy 
ance ; grant that he was a little inconveniently loud in 
proclaiming through High Street what he had heard in 
Oriel : yet, after all, what is a leader supposed to do 
except lead ? Why, if he means " halt," does he not say 
" halt " ? Who expects " tenderness " or " considera 
tion " in a colonel sending to his general for orders in 
some crisis ? In 1838 we found Newman, not without 
a touch of complacency, avowing that he was writing 
for those progressive and shrewd thinkers who were 
"obliging him to say Yes or No." He did not then, 
apparently find it a " nuisance " to be thus questioned, 
and even to be pushed on by questioners. " One can 
not stop still," so he wrote to Keble, but without a 
word of complaint or regret. He did not write, he 
said, for the country clergy, but for these Yes-or-No 
young Oxford men, to whom he felt sure that he was 



of use ; and he added, " I do not consider that for 
them I am going too fast." What blame, then, 
attached to these new disciples, if finding a teacher 
who was willing to be questioned, they questioned 
freely ? And when he found that they had reached a 
point where he could, for the present, answer no further 
questions, was it not for him to say so ? 

But a false sense of duty seems to have forced 
Newman to say something when he had nothing to 
say. "When I wanted to be in peace and silence," he 
writes in the Apologia, " I had to speak out." How 
" had to" ? Does this mean anything more than " I 
thoiight I had to"? or, "It seemed expedient to"? 
Again, " This phase had a tendency to bewilder and 
upset me ; " and, " Instead of saying so, as I ought to 
have done, perhaps from a sort of laziness I gave 
answers at random, which have led to my appearing 
close or inconsistent." This avowal is repeated at 
great length, and in different forms, through several 
pages ; sometimes with a " perhaps," or " might be," 
or other qualifications showing that the author in later 
years found it difficult to recall his exact motives. 
Sometimes, he says, when he was asked whether cer 
tain conclusions did not follow from a certain principle, 
he "might not be able to tell at the moment." That 
is, of course, intelligible ; and the natural inference 
would be that, if he was not able to " tell," he did not 
" tell." But then he goes on, " Or it might so happen 
that my head got simply confused .... and thus I 
gave my sanction to conclusions which really were not 
mine ; " and then he " had to unsay them." As 
another possibility, he adds, " Perhaps I did not like 
to see men scared or scandalized by unfeeling logical 
inferences." He also felt with St. Ambrose, he says, 


that salvation does not come by dialectic, and he " had 
a great dislike of paper logic." Or again, " Great 
acts take time. At least, this is what I felt in my own 
case ; and therefore to come to me with methods of 
logic had in it the nature of a provocation, and, though 
I do not think I ever showed it, made me somewhat 
indifferent how I met them, and perhaps led me, as a 
means of relieving my impatience, to be mysterious or 
irrelevant, or to give in because I could not meet them 
to my satisfaction." And then comes what seems 
intended as a thrust against Ward : " A greater trouble 
still than these logical mazes was the introduction of 
logic into every subject whatever, so far, that is, as 
this was done. . . . One is not at all pleased when 
poetry, or eloquence, or devotion is considered as if 
chiefly intended to feed syllogisms." 

The meaning at the bottom of all these confessions 
is a little hard to elicit. But it seems to amount to 
this. The new phase of the Movement introduced by 
the young Tractarians under Ward was permeated 
with Logic ; it bewildered and upset the Leader ; 
instead of keeping silent when he knew not what to 
say, he committed himself to speech. His motives for 
this he describes variously : sometimes it was out of a 
friendly sympathetic feeling towards those who were 
loving and loyal to him as well as to the Cause ; some 
times it was because he wished to retain useful allies, 
who, otherwise, would have taken a course of their 
own ; sometimes it was mere bewilderment during 
which he lost his head and hardly knew what he saicl ; 
sometimes it was impatience or recklessness under 
" provocation ; " or it was a sense of helplessness ; or 
it was " a sort of laziness." 

We should think meanly of a teacher of anything, 

L 2 


and very meanly of a teacher of religion, who gave 
reckless answers to pupils because he was, in any 
sense," lazy." Newman was not Mazy;" but he had 
no reverence for words, and was always too much dis 
posed to use them at random.* Providence had placed 
him in the position of a leader ; lead therefore he must; 
and, being a leader, he must not refuse to speak to 
those who asked for instructions. True, that he had 
no instructions to give ; but that must not be allowed 
to make him " wilful " ; he must say what was given 
to him to say. Add to this a touch of the practical 
leader s instinct, the feeling that it would not do to be 
silent ; the flock would be scattered ; the young men 
would create a scandal by doing something extreme, 
so as to bring discredit on the Cause. Lastly, there 
might be a sense that silence was contemptible. 
There was, he always felt, an intellectual cowardice 
in not ascertaining, and a moral cowardice in not 
avowing, the logical basis of one s belief ; and this 
perhaps was in his mind (though not on the surface) 
when he wrote, two or three years afterwards, " keeping 
silence looks like artifice." 

Still, taking Newman s own confessions, and the 
most favourable view of them, we can hardly avoid the 
conclusion that he was more to blame for allowing 
himself to be pushed on, than Ward for pushing him 
on. And, in arrest of the severe condemnation passed 
on Ward for his want of insight into Newman s 
feelings, we ought to consider that Newman is 
admitted by most of his admirers to have been ex 
tremely difficult to understand and follow. An indirect 
mind clothing its thoughts in indirect expressions 
resulted in continual surprises for all his well-wishers. 
He coulcl not tell anyone he could seldom tell him- 


self exactly what he meant. Even his dearest friends 
and chosen co-operators (all except Froude) he left 
very much in the dark about his feelings and phases 
of thought ; Keble partially, Bowden very largely, 
Pusey and Rickards altogether. The implied attack in 
the Apologia implied both in what is said and in what 
is not said is so bitter, so groundless, and so widely 
diffused, that the brief and moderate defence made by 
Ward s biographer ought in fairness to be placed before 
the reader : 

" In this state of things he failed to see that after a time his guide 
became embarrassed and unwilling to pursue the discussion, as 
having reached a point where Ke was unprepared to talk until he had 
had more time to think. When, years later, the Apologia appeared, 
this came on Ward as a new light. He considered indeed, that 
later differences had accentuated the feeling there indicated had, 
as it were, led Dr. Newman to look at the past through glasses 
coloured by more than recent events ; but nevertheless he was pained 
at discovering an element in their Oxford relations of which he had 
been at the time wholly unconscious." 

This helps us to construct that picture of the actual 
facts for which we vainly look in the Apologia. Re 
viewing what had happened, a quarter of a century 
after it happened, Newman realized vividly how it 
ought to have happened. The pace was forced, he 
could not deny that, by the new auxiliaries. But for 
their precipitate ill-timed movement on his left wing, 
the whole army might have gone steadily onward, and 
might, perhaps who knows ? have acted together till 
the last. However explained, this intrusive incident 
exhibiting the Leader not as leading but as being 
thrust forward by one of his aides-de-camp introduced 
into the history of the Movement a little of the 
grotesque and undignified. But, at least, it was a relief 


to connect the memory of the unpleasing fact with one 
who, like Oakeley, was in the front of the new allies, 
and who by his age, attainments, tone of mind, sacri 
fices for the cause, and well-known reputation in 
London might seem worthy to be their leader. This 
person was also commended to his memory by recent 
pleasurable events ; Ward, on the other hand, was dis 
commended by recent painful relations. It was a 
habit of Newman s, when he was to blame, to lay the 
blame, at least in part, upon some one else, and 
especially on some one whom he had already treated 
unfairly.^ The rest followed as a matter of course. 
What ought to have been in the past, was, in the 
Apologia. The abrupt, uncouth, odd, straightforward, 
veracious, acute logician, who had done all the work, 
was quietly put back into oblivion ; and as long as 
Newman s famous self-defence is read with a confi 
dence in its accuracy equal to the admiration for its 
style, so long will "a typical Oxford man," of "elegant 
genius" and "classical mind" be supposed to have 
been " the most prominent person " in that band of 
shrewd young thinkers who forced Newman to say 
Yes or No when he would have preferred (and would 
have done well) to be silent, because he had nothing 
to say. 



1 10. " Last words as an Anglican " 

IN April 1839 Newman wrote an article in the 
British Critic with the view of showing that there was 
no permanent basis of belief for serious and rational 
persons in Puritanism, or orthodox Protestantism, or 
what was called " sound Church of Englandism " ; 
and that, between Rome and Rationalism, there was 
nothing except the Via Media. The article was 
entitled " The State of Religious Parties." Looking 
back to it in after years, he describes it as containing 
(although he was not conscious of it at the time) the 
last words that he spoke as an Anglican to Anglicans. 

The year had opened with attacks in the press from 
all quarters on the Bishop of Oxford for favouring the 
Tractarians. Newman also himself was not spared. 
But he was not discouraged. In a confidential letter 
(January) to Rogers, he says that if he were in the 
world, he might possibly be disheartened, but there 
he could not " realise things enough either to hope or 
fear." And then " the world, perhaps, suggesting to 
him the Apostolic use of the word he drops for a 
moment into his old self-introspective mood : " It 
sometimes comes on me as an alarming thing, almost 


a sin, that I doubt whether I should grieve though all 
that has been done melted away like an ice-palace. I 
do not mean, of course, that I should not grieve in the 
case of individuals I knew, or should not be annoyed 
about opponents, whom I knew, triumphing but I 
speak of the whole as a work. I wish I lived as much 
in the unseen world as I think I do not live in this. 
The fear is, lest one lives in a world between the two, 
a selfish heart." 

Yet immediately after he has given us this glimpse 
into the shifting tide of distrustful and oscillating 
thoughts in the depth of his mind, he shakes off this 
mood, and the next sentences breathe nothing but 
hope. " Poor Gladstone" is being attacked for his 
book on Church and State ; he feels as if he could do 
anything for him ; it is " so noble " of him to brave " the 
tempest " for the good cause. The Tracts are selling 
faster than they can print them. Extracts from the 
Tracts against Popery were to be stitched into the 
February magazines, and Pusey was going to write 
" a manifesto of principles." No good might come 
from that, perhaps, " for the avowed object," but it 
would encourage and strengthen friends, who would 
know what to say. It was rumoured that the Irish 
clergy were going to protest against them en masse ; 
but " The corn laws, the Belgian question, Canada and 
Afghanistan will, in a while, divert people s thoughts. 
They will tire of wondering we shall not tire, so 
be it." 

It was a natural division of labour that Pusey with 
whom one great merit of the Tractarian system was its 
" stationary " character should undertake " the mani 
festo of principles " which would defend them against 
the charge of Popery, while Newman in his " State of 


Religious Parties " felt the way for a further advance. 
The Apologia gives us a full account of the latter, 
Newman s last Anglican word. It begins with almost 
a song of triumph, composed from the testimonials of 
their opponents, who mourned over the " fearful pro 
gress " which had now extended beyond the great cities 
to every town of note, and even to the remotest dis 
tricts in the Highlands. To what, asks the writer, 
was this success due ? To a reaction from the dry, 
superficial religious teaching and literary thought of 
the last century ; to the same causes that had won 
the ear and heart of the public for Scott, Coleridge, 
Southey, and Wordsworth, who, by instilling a higher 
philosophy into enquiring minds, and by appealing to 
high principles and feelings, indirectly interested the 
genius of the age in the cause of Catholic truth. Some 
such a Movement was not only natural ; it was 
necessary ; it had been actually predicted twenty years 
ago : how absurd, then, to attribute it to the machina 
tions of a few Oxford men and these, too, so 
differently circumstanced, Keble coming from a country 
parsonage, Pusey from the German Universities and 
Arabic MSS. ; himself " much indebted to the friend 
ship of Archbishop Whately " ! 

The article then points out that, as a mixed multi 
tude went out of Egypt with the Israelites, so must it 
be in the present Movement. There must be youthful, 
unwise, too zealous adherents, who would discredit the 
Cause, and for whose conduct the Cause must not be 
considered responsible. Thence it proceeds to the 
Cause itself, the Via Media, which, though based on 
Antiquity, was to be such a " reproduction " of the old as 
would be " really new." Then follows a plain warning 
that the Movement was a tentative one, that the 


leaders were feeling their way and that the enterprise 
was of the nature of a venture : 

" We have good hope that a system will be rising up, superior to 
the age, yet harmonizing with, and carrying out its higher points, 
which will attract to itself those who are willing to make a venture 
and to face difficulties, for the sake of something higher in prospect, 
On this as on other subjects, the proverb will apply, Fortes fortuna 
adjuvat. " 

The future, the author did not venture to predict. 
But he had no doubt about the present duty. Since 
Rationalism was out of the question, Puritanism power 
less, and sound Church-of-Englandism absolutely il 
logical there was no choice between Rome and the 
new Anglicanism. The Movement might end in 
" some miserable schism or still more miserable com 
promise " ; or, on the other hand, the newly-revived 
principle might prevail and bring about a new birth of 
the ancient Religion in the Anglican Church ; but, in 
any case, it was their part to press on. Thus the 
article concludes, leaving its readers under a twofold 
impression, first, that the predominance of Rome was 
a great and imminent danger ; second, that if the new 
Anglican experiment failed, Rome was certain to 
prevail : 

" The spirit of Luther is dead ; but Hildebrand and Loyola are 
alive. Is it sensible, sober, judicious, to be so very angry with those 
writers of the day, who point to the fact, that our divines of the 
seventeenth century have occupied a ground which is the true and 
intelligible mean between extremes ? Is it wise to quarrel with this 
ground, because it is not exactly what we should choose, had we the 
power of choice ? Is it true moderation, instead of trying to fortify a 
middle doctrine, to fling stones at those who do ? ... Would you 
rather have your sons and daughters members of the Church of 
England or of the Church of Rome ? " 


Want of straightforwardness or plain speaking is the 
last fault that can be brought against this " progres 
sive " manifesto. Chronologically retrogressive, it avows 
itself to be " really new " ; and the words " have occupied 
a ground" scarcely attempt to conceal that the "ground " 
may prove untenable. To some it may seem a fault that 
it combines an audacious and almost insolent aggres 
siveness against the Evangelicals (who had done so 
much for England), and against the High Church 
party (which, at all events, was a fact), with an almost 
puerile exultation over the possible achievement of a 
new system that as yet did not even exist on paper. 
This, however, was no fault, but part of a calculated 
and deliberate design. The leader wished to burn the 
boats for his party, and to make it impossible for them 
to fall back either into the Evangelical or into the old 
orthodox camp of the High and Dry. As for the 
Church of Rome he uses it as a bugbear to frighten 
his readers into the New Anglican pale. He does not 
say, here, that to join Rome involved anything ridicu 
lous, or illogical, or immoral. But he knew that many 
of his readers thought so, and he assumes, and takes 
advantage of, their prejudices ; to which indeed he 
appeals when he claims support from all who do not 
wish to be democratic, or pantheistic, or "popish" 

In his own mind he knew that something approxi 
mating to Rome (not Popery) must be his ultimate 
goal, and within a few weeks we shall find him quoting 
tendimus in Latium, as the recognized war-cry of the 
Party. Yet there is no concealment of his opinions 
here. The fault is what he perhaps considered a 
virtue his blind confidence in his paper Church, which 
at present did not exist on paper, nor even in his own 
brain with any sufficient clearness. Presumably he 


called this faith, or at least would have described it as 
being of the nature of faith ; and this enterprise he 
perhaps had in view when, in his recent University 
sermon on Faith, he declared that " its anticipations 
will ever seem to the world irrational and despicable " ; 
that " if we were intended for great ends, we are called 
to great hazards," and that " great objects exact a 
great venture and a sacrifice is the condition of honour." 
These considerations might, perhaps, lessen our impa 
tience at what must otherwise seem a reckless and 
egotistic confidence. Yet it is a strange position to 
be acting as a guide towards a Via Media, and yet, 
at this very time (as he tells us himself) " feeling 
about for " an available Via Media" \ as though the 
Leader of the Exodus, leaving the mixed multitude oi 
Israel asleep in their tents were to slip out secretly by 
night and grope his way a mile or two in the dark, 
feeling about for an available road to Canaan, and then 
to return prepared to act as guide for the morrow. 

in. "The comforts of life! "the main cause" oj 
our want of love to God " 

Newman s duty at this time was two-fold, tentativ 
and preceptive : by night, as it were, and in his ow 
mind, to " feel about " for the route of the morrow, bu 
by day, and in public, to keep " the mixed multitude 
in order. We have seen how deeply he was impressed 
nearly two years before, by the appearances of mora 
failure following on numerical accessions and successe 
" The State of Religious Parties " vehemently rebuke 
some among his adherents who " do odd and fierc 
things, display themselves unnecessarily, and disgust 
other people." How was he to check these excesses ? 


Still more, how was he to prevent them for the future, 
by creating a spirit that should render them impos 
sible ? He had tried, not long ago, to temper his 
former inculcation of works by laying- some stress on 
" the testimony of conscience " as a test of true faith ; 
but that had not gone to the root of the matter. Many 
of these voluble and somewhat ostentatious young men 
could point to lives free from grave reproach ; they 
could appeal to the testimony of their conscience as 
well as to fasting and church-going, and yet there 
was something wanting. What was it ? 

A sermon on " Love the one thing needful" gives 
the answer to this question. It echoes the self-distrust 
expressed in the letter written a few days before to his 
friend Rogers : " I wish I lived as much in the unseen 
world as I think I do not live in this. The fear is, 
lest one lives in a world between the two a selfish 
heart." " Serious men," it tells us, " though they are, to 
a certain point, keeping God s commandments, yet feel 
that their love is not proportionate. .... They feel 
themselves to be hollow, a fair outside, without a spirit 
within it." Men act " from a sort of concientiousness 
short of love ; from some notion of acting up to a law ; 
that is, more from the fear of God than from the love 
of Him." Even " strict obedience is no evidence of 
fervent love " ; and consequently men have to ask 
themselves in perplexity what proof they have that 
" they are not after all deceiving- themselves and think 
ing themselves religious when they are not." 

Nothing could be more plainly or truly put than 
this. And the natural conclusion, bitter, yet whole 
some, to many a student, would seem to be this, that 
he has only a limited capacity for being truly religious ; 
that his habits of criticism and of retirement have in- 


tensified disadvantages possibly great already, arising 
from temperament and taste. He cannot, as some 
simple folk can, in a natural free-hearted way, be 
loving and helpful to all around him. He is sorry, and 
he tries to make the most of opportunities for curing 
his fault, or for receiving the grace that may help him 
to cure it : but he does not strain after any spurious 
substitute for this inexpressibly precious gift of love or 
charity. What little he has of the pure coin, makes 
him shocked at the thought of accepting a great trea 
sure of base metal in its stead. Not loving men as he 
should, he cannot love God as he should. He knows 
his place. He is content to take a low seat in the 
kingdom of God. 

But Newman draws a different conclusion. Evidently 
as will appear hereafter " love," in his mouth, does 
not mean what it is commonly supposed to mean, but 
some religious faculty, not easily defined. Conse 
quently, after leading us to suppose that love is the 
test of true Christian faith, and that asceticism, without 
love, is vain, he relapses into the notion if not, that 
asceticism can cause love at all events, that, without 
asceticism, love is not possible. Apparently, he does 
not believe that the wear and tear of the duties of 
social life, the attempts to do the right thing amid 
perplexities and temptations, and to do the kind and 
wise thing (at some sacrifice if need be, of one s own 
inclinations, but not necessarily with any sense of deli 
berate sacrifice) constitute the best kind of asceticism. 
" Mortification of the flesh " i.e. " putting to death the 
brute selfishness within one," seems to him achievable, 
not by doing what is right and kind to others, but by 
doing what is unpleasant to oneself. Hence, he brings 
us round to the conclusion that " the comforts of life " 


are the main cause of " our want of love, and that it 
would be "shocking" to meditate on the sacrifice of 
the Saviour on the Cross without habitual preparation 
of the heart by denying oneself comforts and inflicting 
on oneself pains. People must agree to differ, perhaps, 
on these things. Yet there are those who would also 
think it " shocking " to suppose that sitting in a cold 
room, or fasting, or sleeping on bare boards, would 
enable one to enter into the meaning of that Agony 
which caused the Saviour to pray that the cup might 
pass from Him. 

There is, at all events, a consistency in Newman s 
habitual severance of Christian love from human good 
will, affection, or kindliness. It pervades the sermons 
of this period of oscillation. Love is brought forward 
into an unusual prominence, but he will make it more 
and more clear that he does not mean human love. 
Already he tells us that, in the ordinary amiability and 
friendliness of men to each other in word and deed, 
"our love is not enlarged .... the presence of 
Christ is not in it ; " and again, he speaks of "charity" 
as unacceptable to men. "If," he adds, "we do not 
afflict ourselves in light things, God will afflict us in 
heavy things ; " and " as certainly as temporal pros 
perity is the gift of the Law, so also are hardship and 
distress the gift of the Gospel." It was at this time 
that he laid down as a rule for present use, that "it is 
good for a man " to remain unmarried. As for any 
guidance, or lesson, to be derived by Christians from 
nature, art, or literature, he appears not only to ignore 
or deny the possibility of such help but even to assert 
that they are hindrances : " No, never while the Church 
lasts, will the words of old Jacob be reversed all 
things here are against us but God." 


112. Present Blessings t 

There follows a sermon in which Newman makes 
one of his very few attempts to express that feeling of 
thankfulness which is so exuberant in the Epistles of 
St. Paul. It is entitled " Present Blessings," and was 
written or preached on the day " when we first catch 
sight as it were of the Forty Days of Lent," : : being 
apparently intended to caution some of " the mixed 
multitude," who were wont to do " odd things," against 
excessive austerities. St. Paul, he reminds them, " did 
not look on this life with bitterness, complain of it 
morosely, or refuse to enjoy it ;" gloom is no Christian 
temper ; we must live in sunshine even when we 
sorrow. As the Three Children called on all the works 
of the Lord to rejoice, so we may imitate them at least 
" so far as to look abroad on this fair world." Nay, he 
ventures to say in a spirit quite contrary to his general 
precepts enjoining an attitude of hostility or defence 
that we may hold communion with "what we see there, 
while we seek Him who is invisible : " we may " admire 
it while we abstain from it." And then he proceeds to 
reckon up the gifts of God for which we may be thankful. 

Here he is, I will not say, at his worst, but not at 
his best. Thought, Reason, and Imagination ; to have 
been made in God s image ; to have the power of 
loving and being loved ; domestic affection, and social 
good-will ; these high gifts or faculties, revived, strength 
ened, consecrated to the highest purposes, and blessed 
with the noblest hopes, by the Revelation of Christ; 
-there is no mention at all of these things, except so 
far as a comparatively brief and cold tribute is paid to 
them as forms of " Christian brotherhood." * But four or 


five pages are not thought too much to extol the good 
ness of God because He has not caused food to taste 
like medicine, and has not made wounds and blows the 
necessary means of attaining health and strength. 
Nay, He has even made life itself, and food, and 
sleep, pleasurable whereas He might have ordained 
it otherwise ! ! And then a page more, to show that 
there is authority for eating : it is sanctioned by the 
high precedents of Abraham, Melchizedek, the Angels, 
Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the Seventy Elders, David, Elijah, 
and St. Paul ! 

" Let us now thank God that He has not put us into an evil 
world, or subjected us to a cruel master, but has given us a continual 
record of His own perfections in all that lies around us. Alas ! it 
will be otherwise hereafter with those whom God puts out of His 
sight for ever. Their world will be evil ; their life will be death ; 
their rulers will be the devil and his angels ; flames of fire and the 
lake of brimstone will be their meat and drink ; the heaven above 
them will be brass ; their earth will be dust and ashes ; the blood in 
their veins will be as molten lead. Fearful thought ! which it is not 
right to do more than glance at. Let us utter it, and pass by. 
Rather it is for us to rejoice that we are still in the light of His 
countenance, on His good earth, and under His warm sun. Let us 
thank Him that He gives us the fruits of the earth in their season, 
that He gives us food out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad 
the heart of man, and oil to make him a cheerful countenance, and 
bread to strengthen man s heart. Thus was it with our fathers of 
old time, thus is it with us now. After Abraham had fought with 
the kings, Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine to refresh 
him. The angels who visited him made themselves men, and ate of 
the calf which he dressed for them. Isaac blessed Jacob after the 
savoury meat. Joseph s brethren ate and drank " &c. &c., 

It adds to our perplexity that we are here called 
on to thank God specially for these very " comforts 
which he has told us, are " the main cause of our 
want of love to Him " ! The only explanation that 



suggests itself for this sermon is that Newman may 
have been using the arguments that would have 
most weight, not with himself, but with some of 
those who were " too young to be wise and too warm 
to be sober." But, nothing, surely, justifies the juxta 
position of exhortation to thankfulness for wholesome 
meat and drink, with a description of those who are 
to eat and drink in hell. This does not encourage 
gratitude or awe, but creeping adulation or abject 

1 13. " We feel more joy than we know we t do " 

From this attempt so inadequate as almost to make 
us prefer the preacher s terrors to his gratefulness the 
pendulum oscillates back, in the next sermon, to " The 
Difficulty of Realizing Sacred Privileges " a virtual 
avowal that the asceticisms of the recent Lent have, 
or may have, failed to help many to realize " (i.e. to 
believe heartily in) the Resurrection of Christ. 
" When we are told a thing," says the preacher, " we 
assent to it ; we do not doubt it ; but we do not feel 
it to be true ; we do not understand it as a fact 
which must take up a position or station in our 
thoughts, and must be acted from and acted towards, 
must be dealt with as existing ; that is, w r e do not 
realize it." 

This is very serious indeed. In some, it means, " We 
never grasped Christ s Resurrection in our hearts, 
as having any spiritual significance and harmony with 
spiritual law " : in others, " We accepted this, along with 
a mass of other facts, upon authority. In some of these 
our faith has been, or may be, shaken ; why not in this 
too ? " In both cases, the remedy is the same to apply 


faith, not to the facts but to the Person behind the facts. 
Then Faith and Reason combine to produce a con 
fidence that the actual details of the fact whatever 
they may be ultimately shown to be are the outcome 
of a great and real spiritual Resurrection, the source 
of life to mankind. But look at the consequence 
of Newman s theory. He prefaces his confession by 
describing but it means nothing himself and his 
hearers as knowing and believing this truth entirely." 
But in fact, they do not "know" it at all, and do not 
even spiritually "believe" it, but only assent to 
catechisms, books, &c., that have told them of it : 

" And here we are, even on this great Day, this Day of days, on 
which Christ arose from the dead here are we, on this very Day, as 
infants, lying helpless and senseless on the ground, without eyes to 
see or heart to comprehend who we are." 

How does he encourage himself and his hearers to 
shake off this terrible faithlessness ? In effect, his 
remedy is that they should say over and over again, 
" We do believe in the Resurrection, because we have 
kept Lent so well, and therefore, by the laws of our 
Religion, we -must be really believing in it, even though 
we are not conscious of our belief." 

" While then we feel keenly, t as we ought, that we do not honour 
this Blessed Day with that lively and earnest joy which is its due 
yet let us not be discouraged, let us not despond at this. We do 
feel joy ; we feel more joy than we know we do. We see more of 
the next world than we know we see. If we have duly improved 
the sacred season which is now past ; if we have in good earnest, and 
without trifling with ourselves, denied ourselves in meat and drink, 
and other indulgences, according to our strength if we have been 
frequent in prayers according to our opportunities ; it cannot be but 
that a blessing has come upon us, and is upon us now. We may not 
be sensible of it, but by and by we shall know it, when we look back 
upon it." 

M 2 


Thus, in one and the same sermon, he seems to admit 
that asceticism is not the way to Christ and yet that 
there is no other ; that we may be dead to Christian 
faith and yet really alive to it ; that when our hearts 
tell us we feel no joy, we are to believe, and to say, that 
we do feel joy ; and our reason for saying so is to be 
that we have " denied ourselves in meat and drink and 
other indulgences " ! St. Paul teaches us that, by living 
to Christ, we die to the world ; but Newman, convert 
ing the clauses, maintains that, by dying to the world, 
we live to Christ : " Let us only put off the world and 
we put on Christ. The receding from one is an ap 
proaching to the other." That does not follow. One 
cannot produce a cause by producing the effect ; you 
may exactly imitate thunder, but you will not have 
made lightning. " Recede " as he may from the City 
of Destruction, the Christian pilgrim will find, before 
long, that there is a branching of the ways, and how 
can you feel certain whether he will go up-hill to the 
New Jerusalem on his right or to the left, down-hill, to 
the city of Superstition ? 



1 14. Faith is "practically to colour evidence " 

THE same month which witnessed Ward s formal 
accession to the Tractarians saw Newman endeavour 
ing, in a sermon before the University, to distinguish 
between Faith and Superstition. It was entitled 
" Love the Safeguard of Faith against Superstition." 
At the outset, he deserts his famous definition of 
Reason for what he calls the popular one. In its 
proper sense, he says, Reason includes Faith ; but in 
the popular sense, Reason " is contrasted with Faith, 
as meaning in the main such inferences concerning 
facts, as are derived from the facts in question them 
selves,* that is from Evidence, and which lead us con 
sequently to Knowledge." This seems slip-shod. 
Reason is not " the inferences," but the faculty by 
which we derive them. And, if " which " refers to 
inferences," does it express the truth, generally, to 
say that our inferences from facts lead to knowledge ? 
Do they not often constitute the knowledge itself as 
when, from certain facts, we derive the inference that a 
man has committed murder ? But passing by this, we 
have to complain that Newman not only risks confusing 
himself and us, by introducing a new definition of 


Reason, but also implies his intention to use the word 
sometimes according to both definitions ; he will use it 
popularly, he says, " for the most part " 

Besides, it is misleading to say that reason derives 
its inferences about facts " from the facts in question," 
unless you carefully explain that by " the facts 
in question " you mean all facts that bear upon the 
truth or falsehood of the statement of fact in question. 
It is important that this should be seen clearly. 

Here, for example, is a statement of fact : "A. stole 
a penknife." Among the facts bearing on the truth or 
falsehood of this, are, we will suppose, (i) A. was seen to 
take it up ; (2) he was heard to remark that he usually 
carried one like it ; (3) he was found with it in his 
pocket ; (4) he had often done similar things, where no 
one supposed him guilty of theft ; (5) he was a man of 
great wealth, liberality, and strict integrity. Part of 
this evidence would be described as " evidence to 
character," but it is evidence to facts that have a bearing 
on the fact in qiiestion. It may be said, however, that 
" theft " implies taking with a motive, and that it would 
be better to take a case of mere fact. Well, then, 
suppose that (i) B. and C. say they "saw A. take a 
penknife" ; (2) there is no other evidence that A. took 
it ; (3) B. and C. have been previously convicted of 
felony upon A. s evidence ; (4) A. s character has never 
been before impugned. Who will assert that the two 
last-mentioned " facts " are not part of the " evidence " 
for every one who wishes to arrive at a correct con 
clusion ? All this suggests a truer definition of reason, 
as " deriving its inferences as to an alleged fact from 
all facts bearing upon the truth or falsehood of the 

But Newman has here unduly contracted the 


province of his popular Reason, as he before unduly 
widened the province of his philosophic Reason. He 
has a purpose in doing both. Then, he wished to 
show that Faith was included in Reason ; so he 
defined Reason too amply. Now he wishes to show 
that Faith is superior to Reason, though antagonistic 
to it ; so he defines Reason too narrowly. This 
undue circumscription of Reason will prepare the way 
for an undue enlargement of the province of Faith. 
It will be said that Faith (not Reason) proceeds on 
" presumptions ; " and then it will be ignored that 
" antecedent presumptions " are not justified except 
when based on preceding facts and experiences. 
Reason, in other words, will be forced to cede the 
province of antecedent probabilities to Faith ; who, 
after annexing it, will demoralize it by bad government 
and let it fall into a state of anarchy. In the end we 
shall be led to the conclusion that faith may " pre 
sume" pretty much what it likes, even about facts, 
without any regard to any evidence of any kind 
at all. 

The first step towards this confusion is to say that 
Faith, or "the antecedent judgment with which a man 
approaches the subject of religion," " practically colours 
the evidence" for the believer, "even in a case in 
which he has recourse to evidence." By the last 
words, the writer is apparently speaking of those cases 
in which we have recourse to evidence to prove, not 
moral conclusions deduced from our religion, but facts 
alleged all through our religious books. But many 
will contend that neither as to these, nor as to any 
other facts, is Faith to " colour " evidence ; and some 
will say that such "colouring" is immoral. There 
appears to be also something immoral in excusing the 


careless misuse or abuse of Reason, as in the following 
passage : " When we come to what is called Evidence, 
or, in popular language, exercises of Reason . . . there 
is as little virtue or merit in deciding aright as in work 
ing a mathematical problem correctly ; as little guilt in 
deciding wrongly as in mistakes in accounts, or in a 
faulty memory in history." Is that so indeed ? When 
we decide rightly or wrongly about the guilt of a 
fellow-creature, are we to feel no more moral re 
sponsibility for our verdict than about the product 
we bring out in an attempt to multiply twenty figures 
by twenty? Does not "evidence," in all human 
affairs, appeal not only to our patience, concentration, 
classification, memory, and other intellectual faculties, 
but also to our insight into character and freedom 
from blind and selfish prejudice ? and does not this 
freedom very often arise from the sympathetic power 
of throwing ourselves into the position of others ? 
And is not this a moral qualification ? 

Yet Newman really does seem to believe that it 
does not matter, and that we are not to blame, if 
through laziness or prejudice we allow ourselves to be 
led by evidence to quite wrong conclusions as to 
matters of fact. He assumes that when we use our 
reason on evidence we clear our minds from prejudice ; 
but he never, perhaps, says hardly ever * implies 
that it is wrong not thus to clear our minds. As 
(in a previous sermon) he spoke lightly and calmly 
about the habit of crediting rumours unfavourable to 
people we dislike, so here he declares that, in political 
and social matters, we decide largely on faith and 
ignores the fact that such faith is immoral, unless based 
on evidence-. "Act we must," yet we seldom "have 
means of examining into the evidence of the statements 


on which we are forced to act." And then, after thus 
condoning a great fault in social and political life, he 
goes on to encourage us to commit the same faiilt in 
religion : " And so in religious matters, on hearing or 
apparently witnessing a supernatural occurrence, men 
judge of it this way or that, according as they are 
credulous or not, or wish it to be true or not, or are 
influenced by such or such views of life, or have more 
or less knowledge on the subject of miracles." 

This encouragement he follows up by an argument 
of the it-does-not-follow-that-it-may-not-be kind. 
Nature, or God, as a fact, is continually teaching 
us by experience, that presumptuous and a priori 
judgments when they are not based on indirect 
antecedent preceding evidence, and when they dis 
regard present evidence mislead us ; but Newman 
urges us to disregard this analogy. It does not follow, 
he says, " because in the insignificant matters of this 
world a priori judgments run counter to judgments on 
evidence " [what does this mean but " run counter to 
truth " ?] "that therefore, in the weightier matters of 
the next, a merciful Providence " may not have so 
ordered the relation between our minds and His 
revealed will " that presumption, which is the method 
of the many, may lead to the same conclusions as 
examination, which is the method of the few." 

1 15. Love is to be " The Safeguard of Faith " 

Having allowed Faith to neglect evidence, he has 
now to shield it from any further interference on the 
part of Reason, and also to protect it from degenerat 
ing into Superstition. He begins with a denial that is 
either a truism or an error. He denies "that any 


intellectual act is necessary for right Faith besides 
itself." Of course, if " right Faith" means k the 
faculty of attaining what is right and true in religion " 
this is so true that it is waste of time to state such a 
truth : " Nothing is necessary for the attainment of 
religious truth but the faculty of attaining religious 
truth." But this is nonsense. The fact, which he 
ignores, is, that we attain religious truth through the 
right use of all our faculties, physical, mental, and 
emotional, and that faith is based upon the right use 
of our reason (in every sense of the word) as well as 
on the right use of our senses. Indeed Newman 


himself, for once inconsistent, seems so far to distrust 
his own reasoning as to stop short of his logical 
conclusion. For if Faith owes nothing to reason (in 
the popular sense) we should expect him to conclude 
that it is no more " than a presumption " ; but he stops 
short of this, merely denying that it need be MUCH more 
" than a presumption. "t 

He then confuses his readers by a sentence shading 
off one assertion into another so as to leave the 
impression that the last which he will introduce with 
a " that is " is equivalent to the first. I italicize the 
misleading words. He denies (i) "that any intel 
lectual act is necessary for right faith besides itself. . . 
(2) that is, that Reason is the safeguard of Faith." 
These two propositions are quite distinct. Reason 
may be " necessary " as the scaffolding to build up 
Faith. But it does not follow that it may be after 
wards necessary as Faith s safeguard. When therefore 
he thinks he has shown the untruth of the last propo 
sition, he has not shown the untruth of the first. Yet 
he speaks as if he had. The very first line of the 
following extract exhibits him denying that exercises 


of Reason were necessary in order to believe. That 
denial is not true ; and it is quite a different thing 
from denying that exercises of reason are needed to 
retain belief. * 

However, assuming that he has got rid of Reason, 
Newman now asks, What, if not Reason, is the safe 
guard of Faith ? And his answer is " a right state of 
heart." The sheep, he says, know the Shepherd ; 
others believe not because they are not of His sheep : 

" What is here said about exercises of Reason, in order to-believ 
ing? What is there not said of sympathetic feeling, of newness of 
spirit, of love ? It was from lack of love towards Christ that the 
Jews discerned not in Him the Shepherd of their souls. Ye believe 
not because ye are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice and 
follow Me. It was the regenerate nature sent down from the Father 
of Lights which drew up the disciples heavenward, which made 
their affections go forth to meet the Bridegroom, and fixed those 
affections on Him, till they were as cords of love staying the heart 
upon the Eternal. All that the Father giveth Me, shall come to 
Me. No man can come unto Me, except the Father which hath 
sent Me, draw him. It is written in the Prophets, And they shall be 
all taught of God. Every man, therefore, that hath heard and hath 
learned of the Father, cometh unto Me. It is the new life, and not 
the natural reason, which leads the soul to Christ. Does a child 
trust his parents because he has proved to himself that they are such, 
and that they are able and desirous to do him good, or from the 
instinct of affection ? We believe because we love. How plain a 
truth ! What gain is it to be wise above that which is written ? 
Why, O men, deface with your minute and arbitrary philosophy the 
simplicity, the reality, the glorious liberty of the inspired teaching ? 
Is this your godly jealousy for Scripture? this your abhorrence of 
human additions ? " 

1 1 6. But " love" " does not mean love precisely" 

All this is perfectly true, and, in Newman s mouth, 
perfectly misleading. About one kind of Faith, which 
he hardly deigns to call Faith, it is true ; about 


another, which is uppermost in his thoughts, it is false. 
It is perfectly true about that kind of Faith which is a 
trust in tJie Person of Christ that magnetic force 
which attracted His disciples so marvellously before 
His death, and so much more marvellously after it, and 
which, in a degree, has been transmitted from Christ 
through them to us. But it is not true about Faith 
when it means belief in the whole mass of Tractarian 
doctrine. Concerning the doctrine of Episcopal Suc 
cession, for example, it is false to say " We believe 
because we love." Moreover, even Faith in Christ 
and faith in parents are built up with the aid of Reason 
and experience. Words and acts, yes, and even looks 
and gestures, supply evidence on which Reason works, 
and by which, with the aid of Reason, Faith is con 
structed. Untruthful parents, or those who are 
exceptionally weak and silly and always in the wrong 
these may be loved, after a fashion, but are not 
trusted. Experience forbids it. But experience New 
man always ignores naturally, because it belongs to 
the world ; which (he thinks) may be all a delusion.^ 

So keen a mind as his could not have fallen into all 
this confusion but for another fundamental error which 
prevented him from relying on experience, and forced 
him back upon books. The reader cannot have 
failed to note the stress laid by Newman upon the 
clearness of his great principle, "We believe because 
we love" The beautiful simplicity of it strikes him. 
He almost obtrudes the plainness of it on his readers. 
" How plain a truth ! " he cries. Why " be wise 
above that which was written " ? Why foist your 
"human additions" on "Scripture"? And yet he 
himself has afterwards, in a later edition so to ex 
plain " this plain truth" in a footnote as to explain it 


altogether away ! To the "love" mentioned in " the 
Scripture" he appends "a human addition," from the 
schoolmen or the theologians, which reduces the 
grandest of truths to a nonentity ! The language of 
Shakespeare being inadequate to set forth the sublime 
doctrine that " we believe because we love " ; he 
resorts to Latin and tells us that it DOES NOT MEAN 
" LOVE PRECISELY " ! It is " the virtue of religiousness, 
under which may be said to fall the pia affectio Or 
volu ntas c redendi. 

Away goes at once every vestige of good that we 
may have derived from the sermon about " Love the 
One Thing Needful," or that we might possibly derive 
from " Love the Safeguard of Faith against Super 
stition." If love means not love precisely, Newman 
has been talking all the while about the dog-star, while 
we thought he was talking about the dog on earth, the 
faithful companion of men ! Nor is he really giving 
us any information, even when we have allowed him 
his celestial interpretation of the word "love." "We 
believe, because we love. How plain a truth " : sub 
stitute for " love " which, he tells us, the word does 
not mean voluntas credendi, l( a desire of believing " 
which, he says, it does mean. What is the result ? 
" W T e believe, because we have a desire of believing. 
How plain a truth!" Plain indeed ! Every law-suit 
makes it patent. But did it need a sermon before the 
University of Oxford to tell us that ? 

117. The Faith of Mesha, King of Moab 

In adding that footnote which explained that " love " 
did not mean "love," Newman entirely gave up the 
position that " Love is the Safeguard of Faith against 


Superstition." " Love," he now says, means " the 
virtue of religiousness, under which may be said to fall 
the/z tf affectio, or voluntas credendi" What is there 
in this " love " that might not be claimed by anyone 
who is passionately devoted to the service of Moloch 
or Ashtaroth ? Take for example that King of 
Moab, Mesha by name, who, in the days of Jehosh- 
aphat, offered his son in sacrifice upon the walls 
of his beleaguered city. " The virtue of religious 
ness " who can deny it to this poor father, who gave 
the best proof possible of it by sacrificing his son for 
religion ? " Pia affectio " too was he not as " piously 
disposed " towards his gods as he probably was cruel 
towards his enemies ? As for his " voluntas credendi," 
the priests of Moloch would have attested his readiness 
to believe anything they told him to believe. Surely, 
then, the Moabite king might claim to be called both 
" holy " and " devout " if holiness and devotion mean 
absolute obedience to religious authority, and have no 
thing to do with what we call human " love precisely" 
" Enlightened " he might not claim to be from the 
point of view of a philosopher, or of a student of cause 
and effect, or of one who argues from the noblest 
parts of human nature to the attributes of the Divine. 
But all this has to do with Reason. As for the " light 
of revelation " King Mesha has it, in a sense : that is, 
he knows what his priests tell him to be the revealed 
will of Moloch. That being the case, it seems doubtful 
whether the King of Moab might not fairly assert that 
he was not excluded from " right Faith " by the follow 
ing definition of it, in which I italicize the three 
defining words : 

" Right Faith is the faith of a right mind. Faith is an intellectual 
act, right Faith is an intellectual act, done in a certain moral disposi- 


tion. Faith is an act of Reason, viz., a reasoning upon presump 
tions ; right Faith is a reasoning upon holy, devout, and enlightened 
presumptions. Faith ventures and hazards ; right Faith ventures and 
hazards deliberately, seriously, soberly, piously, and humbly, counting 
the cost and delighting in the sacrifice. As far as, and wherever 
Love is wanting, so far, and there, Faith runs into excess or is 

The only words that might exclude the royal sacri- 
ficer from claiming " right faith " would be those that 
describe him as " delighting " in the sacrifice. But, 
after all, it is not impossible he would "delight" in it 
after a fashion, if he were superstitious enough : just 
as men " delight " in flagellating and lacerating and 
mutilating their own bodies. At all events, he might 
assert that, in Newman s theological sense of the word, 
he had "love"; not, of course, ordinary Moabite 
"love precisely/ but a theological love. Nay, more, 
to some free-thinkers, who might blame his super 
stition, the Moabite might very well reply, in words of 
Newman s that almost immediately follow ; " Of the 
two, it is more probable that what professes to be a 
Revelation " \_i.e. what my Priests have told me to be 
the will of Moloch] " should be or should contain, a 
Revelation, than that there should be no Revelation at 
all." And then, commenting upon the facts (elsewhere 
alleged by Newman) that God, in Nature, punishes 
mere carelessness or temporary fault with excessive 
severity, the King might observe, and largely in 
Newman s words : " If Almighty God interposes in 
human affairs, His interposition will not be in opposition 
to His known attributes, or to His dealings in the 
world, or to certain previous revelations of His will [such 
as my Priests have given me] ; and it will be worthy 
of Him who not only punishes children for no fault of 


theirs, but also casts them out of the scope of His 
covenanted mercies because a Priest has enunciated 
inaccurately some words in the baptismal form." 

I do not see what case against the Moabite, Newman 
would have, having once deprived his theological 
system of the foundation of real genuine human love, 
and having substituted in its place a theological figment, 
a pia affectio, or voluntas credendi, or " virtue of 
religiousness." It is quite useless for the preacher to 
make passionate disclaimers, and to point to passages 
which tell us that, love being the safeguard of faith, 
"love towards man will make us shrink from cruelty 
and love towards God from false worship ; " or that 
"love towards man will cause the mind to recoil from 
cruelty and impurity." The answer is: "The love 
you mean will do nothing of the kind. For it has 
nothing to do with ( love towards man! Your love is 
only the virtue of religiousness which, in some people, 
may even imply hate towards man, not love at all." 

1 1 8. " Surely you must also say something more " 

How absolutely Newman is willing to apply Faith, 
as a mere presumption, to facts, is seen by the reason 
alleged in this Sermon for his contemptuous rejection 
of Ecclesiastical Miracles. He simply puts them all 
aside, on a " presumption," because he does not want 
them, and he even ventures to call them " external to 
the revealed system." There is no pretence of con 
sidering evidence : 

" And here we see why it is not Faith, but credulousness and 
superstition, to listen to idle tales of apparitions, charms, omens, and 
the like, which may be current even in a Christian land ; viz., be 
cause we have already received a Revelation. The miracles, which 


we believe, indispose us to believe the report of other miracles which 
are external to the revealed system. We have found the Christ, we 
are not seeking." 


At this point, if not before, the thought may well 
occur to us, What did Newman s hearers think of all 
this ? Dean Church tells us, for example, that Ward 
was continually " forcing on Newman so-called irre 
sistible inferences from his own doctrine, If you 
say so-and-so, surely you must also say something 
more." Was it not unavoidable that Ward should 
" force an inference " here ? Earlier parts of the dis 
course were calculated to make a logical mind wince. 
But here, not only the hearer s logic but his religious 
sentiments, so far as they were in sympathy with those 
of Froude and Newman, would be outraged as well. 
" How," he might ask, " can Newman venture to draw 
so arbitrary a line between the Primitive Church in 
which he accepts miracles, and later ages of the Church, 
in which he rejects them ? True, he has expressed it 
thus, that Faith refuses to listen to idle tales of appa 
ritions, &c. : but that, of course, was mere rhetoric. 
His meaning was that Faith rejects all tales of modern 
heaven-sent apparitions, e.g. an apparition of the Virgin 
Mary in France during this or the last century. How is 
such a rejection consistent with what he taught us not 
long ago, viz. that Faith implies a readiness to see God 
interposing ? He calls them external to the revealed 
system because he keeps up his old theory that 
miracles were given for the planting of revealed truth : 
but why should they not be given for the watering of 
it as well? We have found the Christ, he says. 
True, but do we not want also to keep the Christ ? 
Were not mediaeval, and are not modern miracles use 
ful for that purpose ? If they are, is not that enough ? 



Why pry into evidence ? Does not Faith believe 
upon * presumptions ? 

"Newman," he might continue, "has been too timid all 
along. After practically proving that Faith was nothing 
more than a pious presumption, he then drew the lame 
conclusion that it need not be much more than a presump 
tion ! And now apparently deterred by mere Protes 
tant prejudice and by Protestant scruples about evidence 
he would have us reject all ecclesiastical miracles, 
thereby making a breach between the Catholic Church 
as it now is, and the Catholic Church as it was in the 
first ages. All this, from a failure to carry his prin 
ciples to their full logical conclusions ! Having said 
so much, surely he must also say something more." 

If such were the " so-called irresistible inferences " 
which Dean Church had in view, does it not seem that 
the " so-called " might be dropped ? For a man in 
that twilight condition of mind into which Newman had 
brought himself by playing with w r ords and giving the 
reins to imaginations, they were, and were bound to 
be, "irresistible": and with Ward to urge them, and 
Newman to receive them, it was not likely that they 
would be long resisted. 



119. " A His not weir 

THE feeling that there was something hollow in the 
rapidly increasing Tractarian prosperity seems to have 
been pressing upon Newman if we may judge from 
the sermons ever since he gave us (through Rogers) 
that glimpse into the abysmal self-distrust which re 
vealed him to us as finding himself unable to be sorry 
if all his work should pass away like an ice-palace. 
He had that uneasy presentiment to which all but 
shallow minds are liable when some rapid success is 
built up for them on what they recognize (though the 
world may not) to be an unstable, and perhaps ill- 
constructed foundation, or on no foundation at all. 
There must come a crash, they say ; Providence will 
not be trifled with ; there must be Retribution in the 
air. What is precisely amiss they know not ; they can 
only vaguely say, with Hamlet, " All is not well." 

Of course these occasional fits of deep depression 
did not prevent a general superficial satisfaction at the 
apparent progress of the Cause. On the last day of 
March, for example, exulting over the Tractarian con 
verts, the Leader of the Tractarians rejoiced in St. 
Mary s that God was "leading numbers on to the full 

N 2 


truth," and he added, " They do not know it them 
selves." It is thus, on the stage, that great men un 
consciously predict their fates ; the Leader, too, was 
being led on, and " he did not know it himself." 

Early in June, he preached on " Unreal Words." 
The subject was a natural one. There had been a 
great many visitors at Oxford from Easter to Com 
memoration, and more talk than ever about Tractarian- 
ism. Ward was now one of the talkers, and that 
would account for a good deal of talking not, all of it, 
real. Newman s theory of Faith and Reason was of 
course under discussion : what, for example, was Faith, 
since it had been declared to be "not much more than 
presumption " ? What was the difference between 
Reason popular and Reason philosophic ? What was 
the meaning of " love " in theology ? Ought it not to 
be explained that it " did not mean love precisely " ? 
If good works, without love, were of no avail, what 
was the use of good works to a man conscious of the 
want of love ? If good works were of avail, even 
without love, as a means of producing love, how could 
love be said to be "the one thing needful " ? Again, 
as to miracles, if they were to be accepted in the early 
Church, almost entirely, or entirely, on "presumption," 
out of a desire to see God "interposing" and to feel 
Him near, why not welcome them also in the mediaeval 
and modern Church ? 

These and other matters would be discussed ; some 
times, perhaps, solemnly and seriously ; sometimes, if 
Ward was present, with no great solemnity, but with 
zest, good humour, fearlessness of consequences, 
starting of paradoxes, hammering out of ideas, 
pushing of inferences, trying, testing, and cross- 
questioning everyone and everything. Arthur Stanley 


was at this time Ward s companion : and with the 
former to question his facts, and the latter to test his 
logic, Newman would have much to occupy him. And 
how unreal it would all seem ! " Words, words, words ! " 

to quote Hamlet once more. Yet words, however 
logically arranged, were not the means by which the 
Kindly Light was leading him onward. He was 
obliged to use them, but they bewildered him. 

Once more, too, that terrible Arians, which had 
so fussed and fagged him years ago, rose up before his 
conscience: "Those sharp fellows, Ward, Stanley 
and Co. will not let me go to sleep" so he wrote, a 
few months afterwards ; and we can well understand 
that, under Stanley s goading, the memory of that 
inadequate work became insupportable ; he must 
rewrite it, he said, and that would take him a good 
year. Besides all this, we must try to realize the small 
talk, and the irritating and irritated talk, of some of 
the rank and file among his followers, whose hollow 
imitations of earnest conviction would cause their 
Leader to suspect himself as well as them. Nor must 
we forget that either now, or not long afterwards, 
Newman himself felt guilty of some degree of reckless 
ness and unreality of what he calls " a sort of 
laziness" in speaking when he ought not to have 
spoken, or in saying what he did not mean, in response 
to the pressure put upon him by some younger mem 
bers of his Party. Then, and not till then, can we 
understand the feelings of disgust and dissatisfaction 
which about this time, forced from him what, without a 
knowledge of the facts, seems the inexplicable exag 
geration of bidding his followers abstain from talking 
at all : " Let us avoid talking, of whatever kind." 

By this, however, he means talking for talking s sake 


a fault of which he never was guilty : but he touches 
himself more nearly in the exhortation, " Let us aim at 
meaning what we say, and saying what we mean ; let us 
aim at knowing when we understand a truth, and when 
we do not." And other words in this sermon read as a 
kind of plea for more time to make up his mind : "It 
takes a long time really to feel and understand things 
as they are ; we learn to do so gradually " ; unreality " is 
the sin of every one of us in proportion as our hearts 
are cold or our tongues excessive ;" when we do not 
understand something that we are bound to believe, 
we are to " take it on faith and profess to do so." 

A week afterwards (June 9) intense weariness causes 
him to cast himself and his troubles upon the Founda 
tion of things. " The Thought of God the Stay of the 
Soul " is his last utterance as a convinced unshaken 
Anglican. But it is leavened with the preacher s 
inveterate conviction that self-knowledge is the basis 
of all spiritual knowledge. A thrilling description of 
the deep peace arising from communion with God 
concludes by telling us that this springs not from the 
certainty that He sees us as we are, and loves us as 
mortals love their children with all their faults making 
allowance for them but " from a feeling that there is 
nothing in us which we need be ashamed or afraid of." 
Good-bye, then, to all hope of peace with God ! The 
sermon is an exquisite dream from which the conclu 
sion awakens us to feel our desolation more bitterly 
than ever: "Are we allowed to put ourselves under 
His guidance ? This surely is the only question. Has 
He really made us His children, and taken posses 
sion of us by His Holy Spirit ? Are we still in His 
kingdom of grace, in spite of our sins ? The question 
is, not whether we should go, but whether He will re- 


ceive." Truly, if that is indeed the question, it is the 
question of questions ; but, as long as that is the 
question, the thought of God is, not "the stay of the 
soul," but its terror. 

1 20. " The Ghost" as described in 1850 

With such burdens on his soul, from all the stir and 
bustle of Commemoration he turned with relief to the 
Long Vacation, and solitude, and hard continuous 
reading on the theological controversies of the early 
Church. What followed must be given as far as pos 
sible in his own words. But there are two distinct 
accounts of it. One, written in 1850, during the 
polemical fervour of his recent conversion to Rome, 
appears to aim at giving a generally intelligible descrip 
tion, that shall not seem fanciful or eccentric. Accord 
ing to this, his vision of the power and truth of the 
Roman Church was the result of a quiet and sustained 
investigation into "the history of the Monophysites." 
As he sat at his studies, turning the pages of the past, 
the Spirit of Rome rose up before him, revealed as an 
Angel of Truth, making war, and prevailing, against 
the Spirit of Heresy which was revealed to be one with 
the spirit of modern Protestantism. Such is the account 
given in 1850 and reproduced in the Apologia in 1864. 

" It was difficult to make out how the Eutychians or Monophysites 
were heretics, unless Protestants and Anglicans were heretics also, 
difficult to find arguments against the Tridentine Fathers, which did 
not tell against the Fathers of Chalcedon ; difficult to condemn the 
Popes of the sixteenth century, without condemning the Popes of 
the fifth. The drama of religion, and the combat of truth and error, 
were ever one and the same. The principles and proceedings of 
the Church now, were those of the Church then ; the principles and 
proceedings of heretics then, were those of Protestants now. I found 
it so, almost fearfully ; there was an awful similitude, more awful, 


because so silent and unimpassioned, between the dead records of 
the past and the feverish chronicle of the present. The shadow of 
the fifth century was on the sixteenth. It was like a spirit rising 
from the troubled waters of the old world, with the shape and linea 
ments of the new. The Church then, as now, might be called 
peremptory and stern, resolute, overbearing, and relentless ; and 
heretics were shifting, changeable, reserved, and deceitful, ever 
courting civil power, and never agreeing together, except by its aid ; 
and the civil power was ever aiming at comprehensions, trying to put 
the invisible out of view, and substituting expediency for faith- 
What was the use of continuing the controversy, or defending my 
position, if, after all, I was forging arguments for Arius or Eutyches* 
and turning devil s advocate against the much-enduring Athanasius 
and the majestic Leo ? Be my soul with the Saints ! and shall I lift 
up my hand against them? Sooner may . . . c. &c." 

121. " The Ghost! as it was in fact 

The Apologia, which tells us that all this happened 
in August, adds that by the end of that month he 
was "seriously alarmed." Unluckily no letter of 
August is preserved to throw light upon this crisis. 
Not till the middle of September do we find a letter to 
Rogers, which, although it indicates a certain amount 
of suppressed uneasiness, has not one word to suggest 
" alarm." 

" Your account of your priest is amusing. Can the R.C. s have any 
tender feeling towards Anglicanism ? Who among us ever showed 
them any kindness? Are we not the pets of a State which has 
made it felony to celebrate Mass even (I believe) in private, a law 
which (Ward declares) remained in existence till 1780 . . . " 

If things were to come to the worst, he says, he 
should turn Brother of Charity in London. The two 
friends had apparently been reading or discussing 
the Promessi Sposi, and he protests that " That 
Capuchin" in the novel has "stuck" in his heart, 


" like a dart. I have never got over him. Only I think 
it would be, in sober seriousness, far too great an 
honour for such as me to have such a post, being little 
worthy or fit for it." 

A week afterwards, follows another letter (22 Sep 
tember) to the same correspondent, which is not re 
concilable with the account given in 1850 ; for the letter 
declares that not till after the middle of September 
did he receive his " first real hit " ; and then, not from 
the study of the Monophysite controversy, but from 
something quite different. 

" Since I wrote to you, I have had the first real hit from Romanism 
which has happened to me. R. W., who has been passing through, 
directed my attention to Dr. Wiseman s article in the new Dublin. 
I must confess it has given me a stomach-ache. You see the whole 
history of the Monophysites has been a sort of alterative. And now 
comes this dose at the end of it. It does certainly come upon one 
that we are not at the bottom of things. At this moment we have 
sprung a leak ; and the worst of it is that those sharp fellows, Ward, 
Stanley, and Co. will not let one go to sleep upon it. Curavimus 
Babylonem et non est curata was an awkward omen. I have not said 
so much to any one. 

" I seriously think this is a most uncomfortable * article on every 
account, though of course it is ex parte ... I think I shall get 
Keble to answer it. As to Pusey, I am curious to see how it works 
with him. 

" And now, carissime, good-bye. It is no laughing matter. I will 
not blink the question, so be it ; but you don t suppose I am a 
madcap to take up notions suddenly only there is an uncom 
fortable vista * opened which was closed before. I am writing upon my 
first feelings." 

Of course, this letter, written at the moment, must 
outweigh the account (above quoted) written eleven 
years afterwards. The fact, then, appears to be, that 
Newman s six weeks of study merely prepared the 
way for what happened. It was the article that really 


flashed the conviction on him. But as dramatists will 
do jumping o er times, turning the accomplishment 
of many years into an hour-glass " so Newman, 
in 1850, dramatically attributes to one cause what was 
really the effect of two : the six weeks of study were 
the " alterative," the article was the " dose," or, to 
express the same thing in a phrase from Hamlet, which 
furnishes us with so many singularly interesting par 
allels to our narrative, the article was the real " omen " ; 
the study of " the Monophysite controversy " was only 
" the prologue to the omen coming on." 

122. " The omen " 

Yet in one point the Apologia gives a more correct 
impression than the letter. For who would have 
guessed from the letter that Newman had seen this 
article already, and was quite untroubled by it ; indeed, 
"did not see much in it" ? Yet this was so.^ Here 
once more an extract from the Apologia is inevitable, 
because any account not given in Newman s own words 
would be condemned as fanciful and incredible : 

" But my friend, an anxiously religious man, now, as then, very 
dear to me, a Protestant still, pointed out the palmary words of St. 
Augustine, which were contained in one of the extracts made in the 
Review, and which had escaped my observation, * Securus judicat 
orbis terrarum? He repeated these words again and again, and 
when he was gone, they kept ringing in my ears. Securus judicat 
orbis terrarum ; they were words which went beyond the occasion of 
the Donatists : they applied to that of the Monophysites. They 
gave a cogency to the Article, which had escaped me at first. They 
decided ecclesiastical questions on a simpler rule than that of Anti 
quity ; nay, St. Augustine was one of the prime oracles of Antiquity : 
here then Antiquity was deciding against itself. What a light was 
hereby thrown upon every controversy in the Church ! not that, for 


the moment, the multitude may not falter in their judgment, not 
that, in the Arian hurricane, Sees more than can be numbered did 
not bend before its fury, and fall off from St. Athanasius, not that 
the crowd of Oriental Bishops did not need to be sustained during 
the contest by the voice and the eye of St. Leo, but that the deliber 
ate judgment, in which the whole Church at length rests and ac 
quiesces, is an infallible prescription and a final sentence against 
such portions of it as protest and secede. Who can account for 
the impressions which are made on him ? For a mere sentence, the 
words of St. Augustine, struck me with a power which I never had 
felt from any words before. To take a familiar instance, they were 
like the * Turn again, Whittington of the chime ; or, to take a more 
serious one, they were like the Tolle, lege, Tolle, lege? of the 
child, which converted St. Augustine himself. Securus judicat 
orbis terrarum ! By those great words of the ancient Father, in 
terpreting and summing up the long and varied course of ecclesias 
tical history, the theory of the Via Media was absolutely 

This is hard to follow. That a theologian should 
read an article, and not see much in it ; that he should 
afterwards " seriously " think it "most uncomfortable" 
(which, as I have above indicated, means, " spiritually 
distressing and unsettling ") ; and yet that he should 
be able to give no better account of the reasons for its 
influence, than the allusions to " Tolle, lege" and 
Turn again, Whittington," makes us involuntarily 
recur to Sir James Stephen s theory of " cerebral 
excitement." In an ordinary person the avowal of 
such reasons would certainly lead us to suppose some 
degree of mental derangement. But in the present 
instance there had been a deliberate and studious pre 
paration for this sort of imaginative receptiveness.* 
The theory of Angels had been brought to bear on the 
subject, and the Angel of the Anglican Church was an 
unpromising one, "John Bull," hardly fitted to cope 
with the Angel of Rome, the city that sits in sackcloth 


bearing the sins of men. Then, also, Reason had been, 
throughout a series of University sermons, pushed 
into the background, while Faith had been so am 
plified that it might seem a duty, as well as a plea 
sure, to believe in vast conclusions on little evidence ; 
to venture hazardously in response to some omen or 
sign from heaven ; and to exult in offering up the 
Understanding blindfold and bound as a sacrifice upon 
the altar of God. 

Nor must we omit the special circumstances at 
work. During the solitude of the Long Vacation, while 
he was recalling all the corrections to be made in the 
Arians, all the additions to be made to this theory of 
Faith and Reason, and all the answers to be prepared 
for " those sharp fellows, Ward, Stanley, and Co.," 
"his head," might (as he says himself elsewhere) 
" have got simply confused ; " he was " bewildered," 
and " upset," and in a state to believe anything that 
would give him peace and a firm stay for his soul. In 
such a state, how refreshing to think of a Church 
where all this sort of thing would be done for one ! 
Even in imagination, to contemplate the dream that 
after one plunge, after one act of faith in the 
Catholic Church all these troubles, fusses, fags, and 
the like, would at once vanish into space ! Amid 
these mental fever-fits, to recall his recollections of 
Rome, and St. Peter s, and the tombs of the Apostles, 
and the home of Gregory ; yes, and even of Palermo, 
and the soothing influences of its churches, how sweet 
a restorative ! Once more also would recur that oft- 
recurring Sicilian memory when he saw himself as he 
was, and pronounced his self-condemnation. Then, too, 
by the side of that despised apparition, would rise the 
shape of the Capuchin Friar, of whom he was not worthy, 


whose image he could not remove from his heart. How 
plain, how easy, how peaceful seemed his path if he could 
attain to be as that Capuchin ! On the other side, how 
vague, uncertain, shifty and modern, all the results of 
his leadership, and some, too, of his attempts at leading ! 
" Curavimus Babylonem et non est curata was 
an awkward omen " so he wrote to Rogers. Texts 
had often, before, supplied him with "omens." When 
he was at Falmouth, before his voyage, he had been 
comforted by those words from the Psalms which 
he could not think the organist " had chosen on 
purpose." Before the Peel election, a verse from 
Isaiah had roused him to do battle for the Church. 
So, now, in the lesson for the eleventh of August, in 
the midst of his anxious self-suspicions, there had come 
this warning from Jeremiah, " We would have healed 
Babylon, and she hath not been healed " ! Alas, it was 
too true ; he had been attempting to heal the Church 
of this people, but it had not been healed ; his work, 
like himself, was "hollow." The New Anglicanism 
was uttering many words, but they were " unreal " ; it 
was gaining numbers, but there was no life in them. 
Then, at the end of all, while he was still striving to 
resist the Divine call, there came upon him that second 
"omen," those "palmary" words of St. Augustine, 
Securus judicat or bis t err arum which he had heard so 
often before, and realised so little. He fought against 
them while his friend was with him, as he used, in old 
days, to fight against Froude s " proses." And now, 
as then, the more he fought with his mind, the more 
what he fought against entered into his heart. When 
his friend departed, the words, he says, " kept ringing 
in his ears." Securus ! Seciirus / It was his heart s 
desire. Give him but "freedom from care"! For 


this, he was ready to make any sacrifice, any submission. 
And whither should he go for it, where hope to find it, 
except in - ? 

" Rome" : that was the answer. The word came, not 
from him, but to him. It was the work of a moment ; 
but the result was for his life. <k The thought," he says, 
" for the moment, had been, * The Church of Rome will 
be found right after all ; and then it had vanished. 
My old convictions remained as before." Was that 
so indeed ? We shall have a word to say hereafter 
about Newman s " convictions." Meanwhile it suffices 
to note the statement that precedes this : " He who 
has seen a ghost cannot be as if he had never 
seen it." 

123. " The spirit that I have seen may be the 


There is a curious similarity between the thoughts 
that occurred to Hamlet and Newman when these two 
excitable souls, after having seen their several ghosts, 
relapsed into the inevitable cold reactionary fit of 

(i) " The spirit that I have seen may be the devil : 
I will have proof more relative than this." 

(2) " I felt on consideration a positive doubt . . . whether the sug 
gestion did not come from below . . . That new conception of 
things should only so far influence me as it had a logical claim to 
do so." 

Turn verse into prose, and what is the difference 
between the two expressions ? Yet there was a 
difference in their actions. Hamlet did take definite 
means to get at the truth ; Newman s principal work 
hereafter will be, not to get at new truth, but to 


ascertain whether, having these notions of truth, he 
can remain in the Church of England. He says, indeed, 
" I determined to be guided not by my imagination 
but my Reason." But to this we are obliged to 
answer, " Yes, but by which of your tivo Reasons ? 
By popular Reason that weighs evidence ? Or by 
that philosophic Reason which includes all means 
(except sensation) of arriving at the truth ? In the 
last sense, your Reason includes your imagination. 
In effect he answers our question for us, a dozen lines 
further on : " If it (i.e., the ghost, or vision) came from 
above, it would come again so I trusted, and with 
more definite outlines and greater cogency and con 
sistency of proof. I thought of Samuel, before he 
knew the word of the Lord : and therefore I went 
and lay down to sleep again." That represents the 
fact. He did not really intend (however he may have 
persuaded himself momentarily that he had the inten 
tion) to be guided, in any ordinary sense of the word, 
by his " Reason," nor to determine the " logical claim " 
of his vision upon him. He would " lie down to sleep ; " 
he would wait to see if the ghost came again. If it 
came twice, it might be from heaven ; if it came thrice, 
it must be.* Why ? Because the Voice came thrice to 
Samuel. If this was being guided by Reason, then, 
but not otherwise, he was determined to obey that 


What kind of logical position suggested itself to him 
scon after the shock, we gather from another letter 
(3 October) in which he soliloquizes, as it were, to 
Rogers, putting down arguments on paper to see how 
they look, and rejecting them as he writes. He did 
not mean to soliloquize when he began the letter. He 
meant simply to ask Rogers to give Keble some 


suggestions for his preface to the second volume of 
Froude s Remains. Rogers had said that there ought 
to be some explanation " about R. H. F. s off-hand 
expressions." Naturally, Newman himself would have 
communicated this opinion to his co-editor Keble ; 
" but somehow," he says, " I seem to want the faculty 
of judging of anything of Keble s." And, again, " I 
so little enter into people s difficulties that I am not 
able to tell whether he has met them . . . and, as I 
feel I cannot do justice to your meaning, I wish you 
would write a line about them." All this, he says, he 
had written to Rogers before, and he had torn the 
letter up. Now he writes it again. 

He is evidently completely unnerved. He does not 
know where he is. He does not wish to write to 
Keble. True, Keble is his spiritual director ; and here 
is a case of conscience. Rogers has already warned 
him that, if his present scruples continue, he ought to 
give up St. Mary s. Why does he not consult Keble 
about this ? He dares not. He does not mind entrust 
ing his doubts and fears to his friend Rogers, and even 
to the flighty "scaramouch" Henry Wilberforce : but 
to Pusey and Keble, not a word. We can understand 
his silence to Pusey. Pusey, he says, never could 
understand his difficulties. Pusey was clad in a 
panoply of confidence which made him impervious to 
the real meaning of half-expressions of hinted doubts. 
But might he not have tried Keble ? Was it that he 
thought that the cloud might blow over, and then that 
all this fuss would be about nothing ? Then why 
trouble younger * men with it when it might only un 
settle and disturb them ? The explanation is, perhaps, 
partly, that he could not express what he felt in a 
formal letter. To Henry Wilberforce he told the 


secret during a walk in the New Forest. With Rogers, 
he could chat on paper ; but not with Keble, not quite 
in the same way. What he had to reveal was a feel 
ing, not an argument ; and the personality of Keble 
deterred him to some extent from such revelations, as 
the personality of Pusey deterred him altogether. 

In this nerveless condition of mind, taking up the 
pen to write to Rogers about one thing, he drifts into 
another. Beginning with Froude s Remains, he passed 
into a soliloquy about his present logical position that 
of an Anglican believing, in his heart, that " Rome 
will be found right after all." Rogers was a particularly 
shrewd listener stimulated thereto, perhaps, by his 
weak eye-sight ; a cool judge of men and things, with 
a singularly keen sense of what was demanded by 
honesty, honour, consistency, and common-sense. 
Naturally, therefore, his judgment had a special value 
for Newman, who submits to him two " views." First, 
might not grace be given in a schismatical Church ? 
Even in the Roman calendar there were saints who 
had adhered to an anti-Pope and, he believed, had died 
in that adherence : if so, " As the Archbishop of C. is 
Pope to those who are not better informed, so he may 
be to those who, born and ordained in the English 


Church, afterwards are otherwise informed." 

Is not this style of arguing pathetic ? Does it not 
illustrate (and almost justify) Newman s sense of the 
inutility of words, and his habit of using them so reck 
lessly, when, even in a soliloquy, he can put down on 
paper such a logical cobweb, which, in the next line, 
the very thought of his friend s common-sense whisks 
to the winds ? " But this you will not allow. You 
will say, Light is given for some end. What do they 
in consequence of their light who remain as they 



were ? Beaten by himself from his own position, he 
takes up a new one : 

" Well, then, once more : as those who sin after baptism cannot at 
once return to their full privileges, yet are not without hope, so a 
Church which has broken away from the centre of unity is not at 
liberty at once to return, yet is not nothing. May she not put 
herself into a state of penance ? Are not her children best fulfilling 
their duty to her not by leaving her, but by promoting her return, 
and not thinking they have a right to rush into such higher state as 
communion with the centre of unity might give them. If the Church 
Catholic, indeed, has actually commanded their return to her at once, 
that is another matter ; but this she cannot have done without 
pronouncing their present Church good-for-nothing, which I do not 
suppose Rome has done of us. 

"In all this, which I did not mean to have inflicted on you, I 
assume, on the one hand, that Rome is right ; on the other, that we 
are not bound by uncatholic subscriptions." 

It would be interesting to know what Rogers replied 
to this. But we have no evidence beyond the fact 
that he never reversed his opinion that Newman 
ought to give up St. Mary s if his feelings continued. 
The new " view," however, set forth in the last 
paragraph, is the one Newman adopted and acted on, 
during the last years of his Anglican career ; and, on 
that account, it demands consideration. Yet it seems 
one which a serious person, with full mental self- 
control, could hardly have put down on paper, much 
less deliberately adopted. 

But Newman had against him, here, something more 
than the strain of excitement and the nervous feeling 
that there must be some way out of the straits in which 
he found himself. His subtle rhetoric, his dexterous 
art of shading away terms in a kind of " fallacy of 
adumbration," whereby black is so gradually transmuted 
to white that the reader is unconscious of the change 


this actually imposes upon the rhetorician himself! 
Strange, that a man who despised rhetoric should be 
deluded by rhetoric of his own ! Yet, so he is : or 
perhaps, not quite "deluded." For he was so indiscri 
minately contemptuous of logic that he was never quite 
persuaded by any argument, however sound. All his 
knowledge consisted of " views." But the worst of it 
was, in this case, that the " views " had to do, not 
with mere abstract questions, but with right and wrong 
courses of action ; and yet Newman, when writing 
about them, instead of using the words " right " and 
" wrong," would sometimes use the word " intelligible." 
It will be in place here, as showing that he maintained 
this "view" for four years at least, to quote a letter 
of September, 1843, not printed in the Correspondence, 
but in the Life of Ward. Newman 

" speaks in it of those who feel they can with a safe con 
science remain with us while they are allowed to testify in behalf of 
Catholicism, and to promote its interests ; i.e. as if, by such acts they 
were putting our Church, or at least a portion of it in which they are 
included, in the position of catechumens. They think they may stay 
while they are moving themselves and others, nay, say the whole 
Church, towards Rome. He adds, Is not this an intelligible 
ground? I should like your opinion of it. " 

To return to the letter before us, as a specimen of 
" adumbration." When Newman says about those who 
have sinned after baptism, that they cannot at once 
return," this means, are not able to return, because it is 
impossible. But this prepares the way for a statement 
about the whole of a heretic Church that "it is not at 
liberty to return"- and this, to the true Faith and the 
true Church ! Then comes the question, " May she 
not put herself into a state of penance ? " where 
"may" means "is it lawful ?" But, of course, it is 

o 2 


also " lawful," and, so to speak, much more lawful, that 
she should return to the true Church. Then there is 
a leap from the heretic "Church" to " her children." 
Then, instead of telling us what the children of a 
heretic Church ought to do, when they have discovered 
their heresy, he tells us " how they may best fulfil their 
duty to her" i.e. to a mass of heretics ; but, on New 
man s own theory, each man s first business is the 
salvation of his own soul. Then these now orthodox 
children of a heretic Church are told not that they 
have no right to ask for immediate reconciliation to 
the true Church, for that would be too palpable an 
absurdity, but that, by not thinking they have a 
"right" to "rush" into the Catholic Church, they 
will be best doing their duty to the heretic Church ! 

Surely all this, like the first set of arguments, ought 
to be scattered to the winds by the reply unanswerable 
from Newman s own point of view " Assuming, as I 
do, that Rome is right, I am safe in the Church of 
Rome ; I am not safe in the Church of England." 
And then the transparent sophism of suggesting that 
"the Church Catholic has not actually commanded 
heretics to return to her at once " ! And finally the 
bathos in the admission that this argumentative fabric 
rests on the " supposition " that Rome has not pro 
nounced the Church of England "good-for-nothing"! 
The last words of all, "that we are not bound by uncatho- 
lic subscriptions " open a new question, not of a logical 
but of a moral kind, and would seem to require a 
separate letter to explain, or justify, the assumption. 
Altogether, the impression left on us is, that Newman 
had been so unsettled by his vision and his omen that 
he was incapable of using his reason so as to balance 
his imagination ; but that he might use it so as to gain 


a breathing space, and prepare himself to obey with 
some sort of appearance of deliberation and logical 
consistency the faculty which he could not perma 
nently control. 

124. " We do it wrong, being so majestical" 

Newman s own comment on the consequences and 
duties involved by his vision is found in the sermon 
on "Divine Calls " (27 October) written some weeks 
after the letter just quoted, during which he had taken 
a holiday in the vicarage of his brother-in-law, E. T. 
Mozley. It is an autobiography. We have seen that 
he likened his " call " to that of Samuel. So, here ; 
he is " Samuel." " Samuel was from a child brought 
to the house of the Lord ; and in due time he was 
called to a sacred office and made a prophet. He was 
called, and he forthwith answered the call. He did 
not understand at first who called and what was 
meant ; but on going to Eli he learned who spoke and 
what his answer should be." The only difference was 
that Newman did not " go to Eli," that is to say, 
Keble, but to Rogers and Henry Wilberforce. Then, 
after considering a number of instances of Divine calls, 
and pointing out their characteristics : they " require 
instant obedience," they " call us we know not to 
what," they " call us on in the darkness," " Faith alone 
can obey them " he adds that such " calling " is not a 
thing of the past ; " for in truth we are not called once 
only but many times": "they who are living reli 
giously have from time to time truths they did not 
know before, or had no need to consider, brought 
before them forcibly, truths which involve duties and 
claim obedience." These Divine calls "are com 
monly, from the nature of the case, sudden now, and 


as indefinite and obscure in their consequences as in 
former times " ; if men look back on their past lives 
and consider their marvellously changed notions of 
Divine truth, they will see that these are produced by 
" calls which they are to obey, and which if they do 
not obey, they lose place and fall behind in their 
heavenly course." 

He then enumerates some of these calls. Looking 
back, perhaps, to his own first " call," when the 
message had come to him at school that his father s 
bank had failed, and when Walter Mayer s influence 
had converted him at Ealing, he seems distantly to 
refer to it in words about "a letter, or a message, or a 
person, whereby a sudden trial comes on him, which, 
if met religiously, will be the means of advancing him 
to a higher state of religious excellence." At all 
events, he certainly has his sister Mary in view when 
he speaks of " the loss of some dear friend or relative," 
" which shows us the vanity of things below, and 
prompts us to make God our sole stay ; " and then, 
when we look back on our life, " we find that that sad 
event has brought us into a new state of faith and 
judgment, and that we are as though other men 
than we were." Or again, perhaps, " something 
occurs " the Peel election " to force us to take a 
part for God or against Him." We have " to deter 
mine and avow what is truth and what is error " as in 
the crisis before the issue of the Tracts " or, again, we 
get acquainted with some one " Froude " whom 
God employs to bring before us a number of truths 
which were closed on us before ; and we but half 
understand, and but half approve of them ; and yet 
God seems to speak in them and the Scripture to 
confirm them." 


Or again, " some thought may suggest itself" such 
as Holiness rather than Peace " which is a key to a 
great deal in Scripture " ; " we may be able to enter 
into the manner of life of the early Christians as 
recorded in the Scriptures, which before was hidden 
from us, and into the simple maxims on which Scrip 
ture bases it " ; "or again we may have a resolution 
grow on us"- as it did in 1829, although it was not 
carried out till 1842 "to serve God more strictly in 
His house and in private than heretofore. This is a 
call to higher things ; let us beware lest we receive the 
grace of God in vain ; let us beware of lapsing back. . . 
God may be bringing us into a higher world of 
religious truth ; let us work with Him." No one, he 
continues, may excuse himself from obedience to a call 
by taking another s lower standard of holiness for 
his own : "If God calls us to greater renunciation of 
the world, and exacts a sacrifice of our hopes and fears, 
this is our gain, this is a mark of His love for us, this 
is a thing to be rejoiced in." Then follows a passion 
ate aspiration after " earnestness," and an exaltation of 
the blessedness of those who can love " in sincerity," 
and can express their love "sincerely": "What can 
this world offer comparable with that insight into 
spiritual things, that keen faith, that heavenly peace, 
that high sanctity, that everlasting righteousness, that 
hope of glory, which they have who in sincerity love 
and follow our Lord Jesus Christ ? Let us beg and 
pray Him day by day to reveal Himself to our souls 
more fully . . . that we may sincerely say, * Thou 
shalt guide me with Thy counsel and after that receive 
me into glory. 

Who can fail to sympathize with this sincere and 
earnest prayer for earnestness and sincerity ? It is an 


awful warning against mental inexactness, intellectual 
hurry, and a quasi-spiritual contempt for understanding 
and experience, that the mere neglect of facts and 
evidences and reason should lead an honest man thus to 
suspect himself of moral dishonesty and to be, at times, 
more a stranger to his own heart than if it belonged 
to some one else. Those who believe that genuine 
prayer is always heard, piercing through all the barriers 
that humanity sets up between itself and God, can feel 
no doubt that these words received their answer, an 
answer necessarily modified by the defects of the man 
who uttered them, but still fraught with blessing and 
leading to such ultimate sincerity and such ultimate 
peace as were still possible in accordance with the 
eternal laws of Retribution. 

But our main object in studying this sermon was to 
ascertain the way in which Newman regarded his " call " 
after he had taken time to review it and all its circum 
stances. And, from this point of view, what is the 
result ? Surely it is this which indeed we might have 
expected that Newman even less permanently enter 
tained the thought of his vision being Satanic than 
Hamlet entertained the same thought about the 
majestical figure of his royal father. As to analysing 
or testing the call by means of Reason, Hamlet would 
as soon have struck at the crowned phantom with his 
sword to test its reality. Has the sermon a single 
trace of the feeling that "the suggestion might be from 
below " ? Is there the least evidence of any disposition 
to regard a "call " of this kind (and to teach others to 
regard it) " only so far as it had a logical claim ? " 
And could such a " call " leave his "convictions" 
unchanged ? He thought it did, and says it did ; and, 
in some men, it might, but not in one whose convic- 


tions were so permeated by his imagination. " My 
old convictions remained the same as before "-this we 
must reject. " He who has seen a ghost cannot be as 
if he had never seen it " this we must accept. Never 
again can Newman be what he was. He was an 
Anglican. He is henceforth a Romanist. 




125. " Being guided by his Reason " 

WE now enter on what may be called the drifting 
period of Newman s life. Explicit and implicit Reason* 
are called to his aid ; but still he drifts. He goes 
through the form of reasoning ; but the form does not 
affect the results. The wind of Anglicanism has 
suddenly dropped. The tide of Romanism has set in 
strong from the first, and daily stronger. The captain 
puts out oars, but they are far too small for such a 
craft. The rudder is plied violently and obtrusively ; 
but it does not touch the water. It is a mere handle, 
that makes a good show on deck. Anchor he cannot, 
for he has no bottom where an anchor will hold ; all is 
loose, floating, illusive. The shore which he is nearing 
is close at hand, the end is a mere question of time. 
Meanwhile he can do nothing but row and steer with 
instruments that effect nothing. This Newman calls 
" being guided by his reason." Let us take one or 
two specimens of the process. 

When he revealed his secret to Henry Wilberforce, 
he " deliberated whether, if a hundred of the party saw 
their way to it, it might not be their duty to join them 
in secession." Why "a hundred"? Because, in the 


New Testament, single conversions are not found, 
except when accompanied by some miracle ; and there 
fore the Tractarians ought not to secede except in some 
numerical force. This we shall also find hereafter ex 
plicitly stated in one of Newman s letters.^ Take 
another instance. In December 1838 he had insisted 
that Temporal Adversity was a Note of the true Church. 
Now he is disposed to consider that it may be a Note 
of a corrupt Church. At least, he fortifies himself 
against Rome by reflecting that " Bellarmine had 
reckoned Temporal Prosperity among the Notes of 
the Church," and the Roman Church had not been very 
prosperous in the nineteenth century. How are we to 
explain Newman s entertaining this last notion, so 
alien from his ascetic modes of thought ? Simply 
because he wanted a "controversial basis" against 
Rome ; and this supplied it. 

At the very time too at which he was appealing to 
his "Reason" to protect him against Rome, he de 
scribes himself as already convinced by " Reason " that 
his prejudice against Rome was false : " Though my 
reason was convinced, I did not throw off for some 
time I could not have thrown off the unreasoning 
prejudice and suspicion, which I cherished about her, 
at least by fits and starts, in spite of this conviction of 
reason " ; and elsewhere, as to his prejudice that Rome 
was Antichrist : "I had a shrinking from renouncing 
it even when my reason so ordered me, from a sort of 
conscience or prejudice." The true explanation of all 
this mystifying language must be looked for in that 
passage of the Apologia in which Newman, in a first 
edition speaks of making a certain belief " less terrible 
to the Reason! and, in later editions " less terrible to 
the Imagination! His Reason (in the philosophic 


sense) was Imagination (in the popular sense). Hence 
in the present conflict, or appearance of conflict, Reason 
was to play no part. Two Imaginations were contend 
ing together. On the one side was the deeply-rooted 
but fading Imagination of his youth that there must be 
something wrong, if not positively Antichristian, about 
the Church of Rome ; on the other side, the fresh, 
strong, and expanding Imagination that " Rome was 
always right." Whichever of these two prevailed, 
" Reason " would submissively follow in the train of 
the victor. But she would do no fighting. She was 
not a combatant, but a camp-follower. 

Towards the end of the year Newman gives just a 
glimpse of some of his troubles to his favourite sister. 
The Vice-Chancellor, he says, is against them ; the 
Heads of Houses are " getting more and more uneasy " ; 
he expects the country clergy will be " getting uneasy" ; 
he would not wonder if the Bishop " got uneasy " ; in 
which case, he supposes he should resign his living ; 
the question of the Fathers is " getting more and more 
anxious " ; people will not find in them what they 
expected, i.e. authoritative expositions of high Anglican 
doctrine. " Many have embraced the principle of 
appeal to them with this view. Now they are be 
ginning to be undeceived." 

" I never can be surprised at individuals going off to Romanism, 
but that is not my chief fear, but a schism in the Church : that is, 
those two parties who have hitherto got on together as they could, 
from the time of Puritanism downwards, gathering up into clear, 
direct, tangible forces, and colliding. Our Church is not at one 
with itself, there is no denying it." 

There is not a single suggestion throughout this 
letter that he himself has changed his views, or has 
had new truth revealed to him. When he began 


" The Library of the Fathers," he felt blindly con 
fident that " it could not lead to Rome," and led others 
into the same belief. Now, he says, "they are "he 
ought to have said " / am "" beginning to be un 
deceived." Yet he prepares her for the worst by 
telling her that he can fancy things gone so far as to 
make him resign even his fellowship. " Had I my will," 
he adds, " I should like to give up preaching." The 
sting, however, of this last sentence, is removed by 
the reason alleged for retaining his charge : " It is 
more than probable that any person appointed would 
be liked less than myself." His sister like others of 
his friends hereafter must have been sorely perplexed 
and mystified by these avowals of possible intentions 
to do desperate things, on no apparent grounds. But 
it was not his fault. It was his nature, \n& fibre (so to 
speak) to express himself in this tortuous fashion, and 
in this case he had the additional motive of affection. 
He wanted to prepare his sister for his future action, 
without paining her by letting her know his present 

" The Heads of Houses," said Newman above, 
" are getting more and more uneasy." It will be 
observed he does not here complain of them for this. 
But Dean Church does. They accepted, he says, any 
bit of contemptible gossip collected by ignorance or ill- 
nature as a proof of heresy, and were always ready to 
suspect it where it was not. Yet Newman who will 
complain in the Apologia bitterly enough about their 
subsequent conduct here, in his letter to his sister, no 
more accuses the Heads than the Bishop, or the 
country clergy. Is it not probable that what was 
going on in Oxford among the young Tractarians 
whose watchword was tendimus in Latium, may have 


justified some uneasiness ? We, at this distance of 
time, can scarcely imagine the wild mad things that 
were said and done by the more perfervid of the 
Tractarians ; and the author of The Oxford Movement 
throws over them an affectionate veil of generality 
which is not helpful to a dull imagination. They 
might be forgotten in detail if their collective effect 
were represented by the impartial historian. But the 
Dean has hardly done this. 

Here, for example is an instance, connected with the 
name of one of Newman s most zealous followers, twice 
mentioned by the author of The Oxford Movement, 
but without any allusion to the following picturesque 
incident, During Newman s absence from Oxford in 
the early autumn he had twice entrusted the pulpit of 
St. Mary s to Mr. J. B. Morris, familiarly called " Jack 
Morris." He had shown symptoms of extravagance 
before, and Newman had given him a caution. But 
I quote Newman s own language " What does he do 
on St. Michael s Day but preach a sermon not simply 
on angels, but on his one subject, for which he has a 
monomania, of fasting ; nay, and say that it was a good 
thing, whereas angels feasted on festivals, to make the 
brute creation fast on fast-days. . . . You may con 
ceive how the Heads of Houses . . . fretted under 
this ; but the next Sunday ... he preached to them 
totidem verbis, the Roman doctrine of the Mass ; and, 
not content with that, added, in energetic terms, that 
every one was an unbeliever, carnal, and so forth, who 
did not hold it. To this he added other speculations 
of his own, still more objectionable." 

Was not this worthy of insertion in The Oxford 
Movement, as an illustration of the fervour of the times, 
and as at least an extenuation of the fears, say even of 


the panics, of the Heads of Houses ? Newman in the 
letter describing it, says, " I wish all this kept secret 
please ; for it is not known even here." Can it be 
that Dean Church himself never knew of it ? Certainly 
its ludicrous aspect should not have excluded it from 
a serious narrative. For what could be more to the 
purpose ? Here was a Tractarian, one of the rank and 
file talkative, noisy, extreme, and extravagant, but 
still, one of many, one who was not too extravagant to 
prevent Newman from trusting him to fill his place in 
St. Mary s who could venture to preach the Roman 
doctrine of the Mass from the University pulpit! And 
we have reason to believe that, what "Jack Morris 1 
preached in St. Mary s, Ward was saying in High 
Street, and in every Common Room in Oxford. Well 
might Newman himself say, as he does, k< This was too 
much for any Vice-Chancellor." 

With such things going on around them ; with the 
young Tractarians boasting that, give them ten years 
of the present rate of progress and they would make 
the Church of England their own ; and with some of 
the more violent, not improbably, improving on 
Newman s old aggressive utterances about "riding 
over" recalcitrants, "as Othniel prevailed over 
Chushan-rishathaim " it is not to be wondered at that 
the Oxford authorities began to suspect, and prepared 
to attack, the doctrine that produced such fruits. Dean 
Church charges them with want of learning. They did 
not know, he says, the traditional High Church doctrine 
which countenanced the Tractarians. They had not 
studied the great Church of England writers. That 
may be. But they judged Tractarianism by what the 
Tractarians themselves were saying and doing every 
where ; and they knew enough about that to be certain 


that it was incompatible with loyalty to what had been 
known for nearly three centuries as the Church of 
England. If they had been also able to judge the 
cause by the secret plans over which its leader was 
brooding, the two judgments would have coincided ; 
for he was proposing to himself to remain in the 
Church of England as a heretic Church a Church 
that was to put herself " under penance " with a view to 
" promoting her return " to the Church Catholic. It is 
not necessary to be unjust to the Oxford authorities in 
order to do justice to Newman. The circumstances 
were novel. The Vicar of St. Mary s was groping his 
way towards Rome ; Oxford Heads were determined 
to keep the University teaching from Rome. It was 
necessary that the two should collide ; it was not 
necessary that the Tractarian historian, half a century 
afterwards, should condemn his opponents with an 
asperity which the Leader himself, at the time, knowing 
the facts, did not feel, and could not pretend to justify.^ 
We return to Newman towards the end of 1839, 
supplying himself with a logical basis and endeavour 
ing to work himself into a state of tranquillity, by 
writing an article in the British Critic about the 
Catholicity of the English Church. He also preached 
a sermon (22 December) on " Equanimity." The 
article, he afterwards said, quieted him for two years. 
We shall see that his memory deceived him. Nor was 
there anything solid in the " Equanimity." The pen 
dulum had, for the moment, swung back again to " his 
own feelings." We left him, at the conclusion of his 
last sermon, praying for " sincerity." Now he makes 
his "sincerity " a proof of the Divine favour : " When 
man knows himself to be in earnest, he knows that God 
looks mercifully on him." " Rope of sand," must be 


the reply " how often have you told us that no man 
can know he is in earnest ; and that we can but guess 
whether we have faith or not ! " 

If the logic of the article in fas. British Critic was of 
the same texture as this, it is not surprising that it had 
given him, as he tells his sister, "much anxiety." It 
appeared in January, 1840 ; but February shows him 
anything but "quieted " : "I have got into a despond 
ing way about the state of things"- so he wrote to his 
best friend, Bowden " and I do not know why 
QUITE." Newman did not insert a stop before, nor 
did he emphasize, the last word. But the position of it 
is eloquent. He always likes to spare Bowden pain. 
So he sails as near the wind as he can, in concealing 
painful facts from him. But after he had written as 
far as "why," he felt that he was on the verge of a 
falsehood. The article in the British Critic had not 
effaced the memory of " the ghost " or the " omen " of 
last autumn. He DID know why he desponded. But 
he only knew in his heart. He did not know definitely, 
logically, completely ; he did not know "QUITE." 

Next to this word " quite," the most important part 
of the letter is a sentence about Pusey s project of an 
institution of Sisters of Mercy. " I despair of such 
societies being made externally. They must be the 
expansion of an inward principle." Here is expressed 
the difference between him and Pusey (as the latter 
was at this time). Pusey felt that in the Anglican 
Church there was, Newman that there was not, " an 
inward principle." All the rest of the letter is of little 
importance : that the Bishops were not so favour 
able ; that the authorities were getting more cold and 
averse ; that he has been obliged, in the " Church of 
the Fathers," to give out their " views about celibacy 



and miraculous power," and so on. The cause for de 
spondency was as we know, and as he almost knew, 
and as he lets slip here that, in his opinion, there 
was no " inward principle"- z.., no life m the English 
Church. The Via Media was pulverized ; he was 
nearly a pure Protestant ; Lutherans had a sort of 
theology ; so had Calvinists ; he had none. 

All that he could do was the very thing which 
conscience, and good taste, and reverence, and the 
memory of Hurrell Froude, concurred to make a pain 
ful and suspected course to attack Rome at the very 
time when he felt at the bottom of his heart " Rome 
will be found to be right after all." In this unspeak 
ably distressing position, not being able to impugn the 
theory of Rome, or the Church of Rome in itself, he 
determined to attack the practices of some Roman 
agents, and, in particular, to fasten a quarrel on the 
English Romanists for combining with O Connell and 
the Liberals for political purposes. In this spirit he 
furiously inveighed in the British Critic against the 
convert-makers of Rome for " smiling and nodding, 
and ducking to attract attention, as gipsies make up to 
truant boys, holding out tales for the nursery, pretty 
pictures, and gilt gingerbread," &c., &c. He also 
attacks Rome itself (apparently) in the words, u we see 
it attempting to gain converts among us by unreal re 
presentations of its doctrines, plausible statements, bold 
assertions," &c. 

Of his hostility to Rome he gave a further token 
intelligible to every Englishman by refusing to meet 
at dinner a Roman convert who had come to Oxford 
to induce Anglicans to pray for unity with the Catholic 
Church. He considered the convert, he says <( in loco 
apostate" from the Anglican Church. By the words 


"in loco" he perhaps intended some subtle distinction 
between this and the plain English " apostate." 
Even then the condemnation was severe enough. But 
this was his way of putting into practice the theory 
that a man has "no right" to "rush" into reconcilia 
tion with the Catholic Church. This convert, it would 
seem, ought to have remained in the Anglican Church 
though convinced of her heresy and of his own 
liability to damnation in remaining in order to " pro 
mote her return." At the present time especially, the 
alliance of a dogmatic religion with "Liberals" appeared, 
he says, "a providential direction against moving 
towards Rome." Shall we urge this as an excuse for 
Newman s exaggerated and almost wilful fury ? He 
precludes us from doing so in the Apologia by begging 
Mr. Spencer s pardon for " the excess of being very 
rude." * And Newman could have hardly had " a pro 
vidential direction " to speak of a man as " in loco 
apostata" for having received a "call" to Rome and 
having obeyed it at once. 

Yet on the other hand was it " rudeness " ? Was it 
not his way of "quieting" himself, of supplying him 
self with the conviction that he was acting on "a 
logical basis"? He wished to hold aloof, for the 
present, from Rome ; consequently he wished to find a 
" sign," or " providential direction," bidding him hold 
aloof. He found it in the alliance between the English 
Romanists and O Connell. But it was so shadowy a 
"sign" that he could not easily believe in it. Hence, 
to make himself believe in it, he said that he believed, 
and said it with a vehemence that he himself called 
" savage." Even that was not enough. For none knew 
better that one must do something in order to make 
oneself believe in anything ; so he did something, and 

P 2 


did it very violently. There was no " rudeness " here. 
It was uneasiness, self-distrust, perplexity, impulsive 
ness, that I -must-do-something sort of feeling which 
was a frequent motive in Newman but certainly not 
" rudeness." As little was it a merely calculated and 
hypocritical indignation. He knew indeed that it paid. 
He knew that he disarmed suspicion by it ; and, for 
that very reason he suspected himself; and this, in the 
end, made him more "uncomfortable" than ever. Yet 
still he persuaded himself that Providence did dictate 
this course. Rather than convict Newman of rudeness 
or of hypocrisy, I would find him guilty, once more, of 
"cerebral excitement." 

126. A breathing-space at Littlemore 

It is intelligible that when, in later years, Newman 
came to review the process of his conversion to Rome, 
he should try to explain why he remained so long in 
the Church of England after first contemplating seces 
sion ; and, in order to do this, he would naturally re 
present himself as contending successfully against the 
divine vision and voices, quieting himself by logic, and 
waiting calmly for more light. But though this is 
natural, it is not true. There was no calm, no quiet, 
no successful resistance at all, no real mental waiting ; 
it was an almost continuous journey, always in one 
direction. With the exception of one little oasis, 
which we shall now describe (would that there were a 
few more such pleasant halting-places ! ) it is all a 
barren and dry wilderness, with descent after descent, 
dropping down to a Dead Sea. 

In the Apologia, Newman thinks" that the dis 
quieting effect of "the ghost" had "gone" by 


21 February, 1840, because in his birthday letter on 
that day to Bowden, he says it made him " for a 
while " very uncomfortable. But he forgets that this 
very letter begins with an avowal of "desponding," 
and that the whole tone of it reveals the deepest dis 
quiet. The month also, in which the "quieting" 
article was published, exhibits him in a state of some 
thing like panic. The conscientious Rogers appears 
to have been speaking plainly to him, perhaps warning 
him of the tendency of things, or telling him again 
that he ought to resign St. Mary s. Afterwards he 
said something soothing. " One kind word from you," 
replies Newman (8 January), " will make me forget 
anything, but really you frightened and depressed me 
very much." A letter to his sister, written four days 
after the letter to Bowden, is still more despondent, 
"Everything," he says, "is miserable."* Carlyle, 
Arnold, Milman, the political economists, the geolo 
gists, all these, and others, " are uniting and forming 
into something shocking. But this is not all. I begin 
to have serious apprehensions lest any religious body 
is strong enough to withstand the league of evil but 
the Roman Church"; it is true that "good principles 
have shot up" in a marvellous way, but " I am not clear 
that they are not tending to Rome riot from any 
necessity in the principles themselves, but from the 
much greater proximity between Rome and us than 
between infidelity and us, and that in a time of trouble 
we naturally look about for allies." The writer must 
have been far gone indeed in melancholy to pour out 
on an affectionate sister such a flood of troubles 
as this ; nor is the force of the letter neutralized 
indeed it is rather accentuated by the final disclaimer ; 
" all this is a miserable prose and regular talk 


worth nothing, and soon to be falsified by the 

But now comes the one oasis in this depressing 
pilgrimage, an interval of real quiet, a brief period oi 
profound peace, during which he is bright, happy, 
exuberantly joyous. The sudden departure of a curate 
obliged him to leave Oxford and to go into resident 
at Littlemore. Detachment from books, and contacl 
with simple duties and plain human nature, did foi 
him, at once, what the article in the British Critic 
had failed to do. His Oxford duties had to be divide* 
among seven persons ; two printing presses wen 
stopped ; a third postponed. Friends protested ii 
vain. His first duty was to Littlemore. To Little- 
more he went accordingly, and Littlemore well repai< 
him. He finds in it a bath of refreshment. Th< 
more things are against him, the happier he is. 
has a bad cold; he has lost his voice, his throat ii 
choked up, yet he has morning and afternoon prayei 
daily. He has an incapable schoolmistress, and i< 
busy reforming, or lecturing against, the uncombed 
hair and dirty faces of the school-girls. His curate 
has left no papers or hints to guide him in anything. 
Yet everything goes well. He catechizes the children 
every Sunday during Lent, and the young " Apostoli- 
cals " flock out to hear him. It is done with such 
spirit, they say, and the children take such pleasure in 
it, so " well-up," for example, in " the orders of angels " ! 
He gains courage, feels he is " getting on " ; the chil 
dren have reformed their hands and faces, and are 
improving in their singing. He has had the audacity to 
lead them in the choir, and teaches them new tunes. 
He lectures the girls with "effrontery" on keeping 
their work clean. He sets them to knit stockings. No 


wonder that he adds in a charming letter to his sister 
" I think I shall be a good deal here in future." 

In this way Lent passes, and now Easter is at hand. 
The curate comes and takes tea with him on Easter 
Eve. Then the two go to church, and with much care 
arrange the altar cloth. 

" It looks beautiful. As to Mrs. Barnes, she dreamed of it, from 
astonishment at its elaborateness ; and Eliza B. and several others, 
who are workwomen, look at it with amazement. . . . Indeed we are 
all so happy that we are afraid of being too happy. We have got 
some roses, wall-flowers, and sweetbriars, and the Chapel smells as if 
to remind one of the Holy Sepulchre. 

" Really I have everything my own way, and I quite dread some 
reverse, because I am so favoured. 

We can hardly bid good-bye to this one pleasant 
scene in the troubled, restless course of Newman s 
Anglican leadership, without asking ourselves how 
things would have gone, if he, too, had done as Keble 
did, and had left his rooms at Oriel for a country 
vicarage. " The world would have been a loser by it:" 
is that, after all, quite so certain ? He would have 
retained his marvellous power of style though he 
would have applied it in other directions. Domestic 
influences and the gentle pressure of Nature might 
have softened, purified, and spiritualized his theology. 
We should have heard less about Reason, and more 
about Truth. Controversy would have been less ; 
progress might have been greater. The Apologia 
would not have been written ; but there would have 
been no need to write it. He might have recast or 
retouched his sermons ; but some feeling, perhaps 
domestic,* mighthave forbidden that addition which tells 
us that " love," in theology, "does not mean love pre 
cisely," and he would have cancelled those passages 
which warn us that nature is evil for us in itself. 


1 2 7. Project of a Monastic Hoitse 

Why, he now asks himself, should he not per 
manently reside at Littlemore ? He has little or 
nothing to do at Oxford parochially, but a good deal 
here. Might he not take theological pupils in this 
quiet place ? Perhaps, if he did, his house might 
come to be looked on as a sort of Hall depending 
on Oriel : " Supposing a feeling arose in favour of 
monastic establishments, and my house at Littlemore 
was obliged to follow the fashion, and conform to a 
rule of discipline, would it not be desirable that such 
institutions should flow from the Colleges of our two 
Universities, and be under their influence ?" 

It is odd that, to Rogers of all people, he should 
express himself so indirectly. For the meaning 
appears to be, " If I started a monastic house at Little- 
more, might I not originate a feeling in favour of such 
establishments, conformed to a rule of discipline after 
my pattern ? Doing this, at first, under the supposed 
sanction of the University of Oxford, might I not, by 
degrees commit first Oxford, and then Cambridge 
following in her train, to the definite approval of 
them ? " Such an attempt was lawful enough ; but, to 
Rogers, it might have been expressed more definitely. 
He does not add and perhaps he only felt dimly and, 
as it were, with his "implicit Reason "-another ad 
vantage of this plan. This would be, that he might 
work out his religious problems quietly and peacefully 
at Littlemore, not on paper, but by living a life of duty 
as he had been doing lately with the happiest results. 
Perhaps too, who could predict the future ? in such 
a Monastic House there might be trained up soldiers 
for that "army of Gideon " which he and Froude had 


so often contemplated ; which, if the sign were given, 
might go forth from the Anglican Church in a compact 
body to do battle where ? In a revived Anglican 
Catholic Church ? or in the Church of Rome ? This 
he could not decide. This the Light must reveal. It 
might be twenty years before a decision was arrived at. 
One step at a time for him. He could not go wrong 
in carrying out the resolution which he had planned, 
and neglected for ten years to serve God in a more 
" strict " and " religious " life. 

The project went on apace. He bought nine acres. 
May and June brought plans for planting and building. 
There was to be a library, a common room, and also 
a number of sets of three small rooms (sitting-room, 
bed-room, bath-room). These " sets " he calls " cells " 
a curious use of the word which the reader should 
note, as something will come of it hereafter. The 
" cells" were to be added as required. The " oratory 
or chapel," was to be a matter for future consideration. 
The cells" might perhaps be upon "a cloister." A 
" refectory " was not forgotten. Every one of these 
words in inverted commas represents something 
that will exist ; of which, before very long, Newman- 
such was the nature of his memory will positively 
deny the existence. 

His return to Oriel changed all this. Or the change 
may have been due in part to the importunity of those 
who looked to him for guidance. Among these was a 
Miss H., who, having been converted to Tractarianism, 
wished to convert others by publishing her views. She 
pesters him with letters and papers, which if they were 
proportioned to the length of Newman s patient and 
gentle replies, must have been a deluge on the leisure 
of a busy man. Persecuted, perhaps, by her worrying 


importunities, he lets drop at last the following answer 
a sad falling off from the peace of Littlemore : 

" Be assured that I have my doubts and difficulties as other 
people. Perhaps the more we examine and investigate, the more 
we have to perplex us. It is the lot of man : the human mind in its 
present state is unequal to its own powers of apprehension ; it em 
braces more than it can master. I think we ought all to set out on 
our inquiries, I am sure we shall end them, with this conviction. 
Absolute certainty, then, cannot be attained here ; we must resign 
ourselves to doubt as the trial under which it is God s will we should 
do our duty and prepare ourselves for His presence. Our sole ques 
tion must be, what does a merciful God, who knows whereof we are 
made, wish us to do under our existing ignorance and doubt ? " 

It can hardly be said that this is the utterance of a 
quiet mind. He has indeed such peace as may spring 
from a resignation to " doubt," as the " trial " appointed 
for us by God ; but even that includes only doubts 
about minor details. There remains the terrible " sole 
question," as to which, apparently, neither doubt nor 
error is allowable, " What does God wish us to do ? 
In other words, what must he do to be saved ? 

128. " Implicit and Explicit Reason " 

As usual, the sermons of this period reflect its inci 
dents. Just before his retirement to Littlemore, he 
seems to be goading himself on to obey the Divine 
"call "at once, by insisting that men "are not hin 
dered " from doing the will of God except by their want 
of love : " We have a depth of power and strength 
lodged in us ; but we have not the heart, we have not 
the will, we have not the love to use it." As for th( 
world s ridicule or censure, loss of prospects, loss oi 
admirers or friends, loss of ease, endurance of bodil; 
pain how easy to bear these when we have once made 


up our minds ! The spectacle of younger, bolder men, 
perhaps rasher, venturing more for the Cause than he 
had ventured, filled him with shame : " The unlettered, 
the ungifted, the young, the weak, and simple, with 
sling and stone from the brook, are encountering 
Goliath as having on Divine armour. The Church is 
rising up around us day by day toward heaven, and 
we do nothing but object, or explain away, or criticise, 
or make excuses, or wonder. We fear to cast in our 
lot with the Saints lest we become a party." In sub 
sequent sermons there is a gradual rise towards a more 
hopeful tone, yet always with the assumption that 
some artificial self-denial is needful : Sinners as ye 
are, act at least like the prosperous heathen, who threw 
his choicest trinkets into the water that he might 
propitiate fortune." 

On Lady-day, in his solitude at Littlemore, his 
mind recurs to Sicily. Having no one to hold 
friendly communion with him, he communes with his 
former self. Pen in hand not in a sermon, but in 
his diary he wanders again among the Sicilian hills, 
recalling each stage of his sickness and miraculous 
recovery. On his bed lies the old blue cloak which had 
nursed him all through his illness : " I have brought it 
up here to Littlemore, and on some cold nights I have 
had it on my bed. I have so few things to sympathize 
with me that I take to cloaks." Meditation on God s 
miraculous favour to him combines with the peaceful 
routine of Littlemore to restore his calm. On the 
following Sunday, " Endurance of the World s Censure" 
bids the young Tractarians bear, without fuss or 
fretting, the petty persecutions of the worldly" carp 
ing, slander, ridicule, cold looks " ; next week we are 
led to the thought that, "even at present, to live in 


obedience to God is far happier than to live in 
obedience to Satan " ; and finally the misery that 
Newman felt to be the deepest of all, " a sort of bad 
conscience," is described as being submerged in the 
sea of God s favour : " Is there any one who does not 
know how very painful the feeling of a bad conscience 
is .. ..? And why ? It is the feeling of God s 
displeasure and therefore it is so painful." Hence, 
God s favour is "just the reverse ; like life from 
the dead, most exceedingly joyful and transporting." 

Forced to return to Oriel, and to cases of conscience, 
he takes up in his next sermon an entirely new subject 
henceforth destined much to occupy him. It is the 
Notes of the Church. He finds, now, no satisfaction 
in Bellarmine s view that Temporal Prosperity is such 
a Note. Once more he recurs to his old views. "If we 
are too happy," he asks, " is it not possible that, so far, 
we really do lack a note of the Church ? " But, by 
an abstruse argument, he seems to have previously 
persuaded himself that the Anglican Church may 
claim the merit of the persecutions which have 
befallen the Church of Rome. If the Church is 
not persecuted in Britain, what follows ? " Either 
Christianity is shut up in Britain or not : if it is, Christ 
has no longer a Catholic Church " ; if it is not, then- 
" w r e are bound to sympathize in the troubles which 
Christians," in other lands, " undergo for the name 
of Christ." Taken literally, the conclusion is a truism ; 
but Newman appears to imply this "we are bound 
to consider ourselves one with the Church of Rome 
which has the Note of Adversity." He concludes by 
declaring that the strength of the Church lies in 
her proper gifts," and among those great gifts is 
that of being persecuted. 


While carrying out, during this period, his intention 
of being "guided by his reason," it was impossible for 
him not to recur to the subject he had so often recently 
treated. On 29 June he devotes another University 
Sermon to " Implicit and Explicit Reason." His 
object seems to be to reduce to a mystery, or an 
arbitrary rule, all those mixed processes of reasoning 
by which we arrive at other than mathematical con 
clusions. He returns for the most part to his original 
definition of Reason, abandoning the sense in which he 
had last used it. " How a man reasons," he says, " is 
as much a mystery as how he remembers." He then 
attacks, not without justice, some of the dicta of 
Tillotson and Paley. They were based on his popular 
definition of Reason ; and he has little difficulty in 
showing that they are incompatible with his philosophic 
definition of it. " True reasoning " is the faculty " of 
an active, ready, candid, and docile mind, which can 
throw itself into what is said, neglect verbal difficulties, 
and pursue and carry out principles." Surely a " candid 
mind" ought to "neglect" nothing. And surely, too, 
Newman ought to have learned, at last, by bitter experi 
ence, the evils of "throwing himself into what is said." 
Had he not " thrown himself generously " into what 
was "said" by the Anglican divines, in so "active, 
ready, and docile " a spirit, that he had read the 
Fathers with their eyes ? And what had followed ? 

The ultimate result is that Implicit Reason is our 
only reasonable guide to God, and that Implicit 
Reason is an affair of impression, mood, impulse, 
the accident of the moment. Instead of condemning, 
he acquiesces in, this state of things : "how very 
differently an argument strikes the mind at one time 
and another according to its particular state or the 


accident of the moment. At one time it is weak and 
unmeaning at another it is nothing short of demon 
stration. We take up a book at one time and see 
nothing in it ; at another, it is full of weighty remarks 
and precious thoughts." 

Newman exemplified this. He took up the Dublin 
Review and "did not see much in it"; a few hours after 
wards, it had "pulverized" his Via Media. Truly it may 
be said of him, that his memory is mysterious, and " how 
he reasons is as much a mystery as how he remembers." 

129. He asks " leave " to retain St. Marys 

During the solitude of the Long Vacation of 1840, 
the uneasiness which had recurred with renewed 
violence on his leaving Littlemore, became so intoler 
able that he once more consulted Rogers, " Should he 
resign St. Mary s ? " Rogers had told him, last year, 
that he ought to, " if his feelings continued." They 
had continued spite of the article in the British Critic. 
The answer of his friend might therefore have been 
anticipated. It was reluctant ; he was unwilling to 
believe that it must be so ; but it was " Yes." Rogers 
was a man " than whom," says Newman, " I know no 
one of a more fine and accurate conscience." 

Unable to act on his own conscience or reason, 
"explicit" or "implicit," or convictions, or imagina 
tions, or whatever name might be given to the motive 
power within him, he might have been content, one 
would have supposed, to be guided by the con 
science of one whom he so esteemed and trusted. 
Yet, when it came to action, to throw away such a 
position as the pulpit of St. Mary s, so splendid a 
vantage ground for preaching a true theology if only 
he had had any positive theology to preach and had 


not been reduced to pure negative Protestantism was 
too decisive and too sensational a step to take without 
some further consideration. In proportion as Rogers 
pressed him, his judgment perhaps began to rebel. 
Yet he would not trust to himself. He would go to 
one whom he had once treated as his spiritual adviser, 
and whom he himself describes as " the friend whom 
it was most natural for me to consult on such a point." 
This, of course, was Keble ; whom, however, ever since 
the quarrel about the Breviary and the rise of the Yes- 
or-No party, he. does not appear (so far as the evidence 
of the Letters goes) to have consulted at all. Not 
a single letter in the Correspondence is addressed by 
Newman to Keble from December, 1838 to March, 
1841.* His motive, in writing to Keble, he states fairly 
enough in a subsequent letter to Rogers : he desired a 
decision in favour of retaining St. Marys : " What I 
wanted to get from him [i.e. Keble] was leave to do so 
[i.e. to remain]." This correspondence deserves atten 
tion. It throws more light upon Newman s method of 
dealing with facts, and of "interpreting and colouring 
evidence," than all the University sermons on Faith 
and Reason put together. 

His first letter to Keble begins by stating, at very 
great length, arguments against remaining at St. 
Mary s : he is not effecting any parochial successes ; 
the Oxford authorities are hostile ; he may be 
leading his hearers to the Primitive Church, but not to 
the system of religion " which has been received for 
300 years." The only important point here is the 
" 300." It seems to give up the " Non-Jurors " and 
to make no distinction between the orthodoxy of the 
seventeenth century and the heterodoxy of the 
sixteenth. Yet perhaps Froude himself would hardly 


have maintained that the system of "Charles I. and 
the Non-Jurors" had ever taken such a hold of the 
nation that it could be said to have been " received. 
To Keble, so far, these reasons must have seemed 
strangely weak, the scruples of a too subtle and anxious 
mind in a state of excessive tension. He knew 
nothing whatever and this fact we must keep continu 
ally before us of the " ghost" and the "omen" of 
1839, and of the deep despondency about Anglicanism 
which, with a short interval, had weighed on Newman s 
mind for now a full year. And as for the notion that 
the man who was consulting him had, twelve months 
ago, proposed and was now acting on the proposition- 
to retain an official position in the Church of England, 
as a heretical Church, in a state of "penance," with a 
view to promoting its " return " to the Church Catholic, 
Keble would have resented the very suggestion of it 
as a slander. Consequently, so far, it was certain that 
Keble s ignorance of the facts must induce him to 
reply : " You have a duty to the Church which is 
above your parochial duty and above deference to the 
mere feelings of Vice-Chancellors. To the Church- 
not unfortunately as it is, but as we hope it soon will 
be, the revived Anglican Church you are doing your 
duty by remaining at St. Mary s. Therefore, remain." 
But of course Newman would feel bound to give Keble 


a little more light than this. Now therefore he shoots 
two or three arrows somewhat nearer to the truth ; but 
he blunts them all by appending to each an inadequate 
reason, or a qualification, or an interrogation, or a 
hypothetical conjunction. 

i. He " fears," for example, that he is disposing his 
hearers towards Rome. But why ? " Because Rome is 
the only representative of the Primitive Church besides 


ourselves." Granted : but why should not ourselves " 
be as attractive as "Rome"? Is not Keble also 
trying to dispose his hearers towards the Primitive 
Church ? What is Newman doing that Keble is not 
doing ? This, to Keble, must have seemed an argu 
ment of straw. 

2. " Next, because many doctrines I have held, 
have far greater, or their only scope, in the Roman 

This is, so far, the most serious reason for resigning. 
And of course, the reader now expects Newman to 
describe exactly, first, what is the precise force of have 
in " have held," i.e. which of these doctrines he has 
held, but holds no longer ; and which he still holds. 
Then, the next question would be, as to " greater or 
only scope." " Are these doctrines opposed to, or 
merely additional to, the Anglican system ? Do they 
extend so far as to involve the belief that Rome is 
right and England wrong ? or that Rome is Catholic, 
and England is, or may be heretic ? " But, instead of 
giving Keble this absolutely essential information 
about a matter of vital importance, he hurries on to 
other reasons, some hypothetical. 

3. " If we have, in process of time, heretical Bishops 
or teachers among us The answer is obvious : 
ist, wait till this occurs ; 2nd, how is it to the point ? 

4. " And if again (what there are at this moment 
symptoms of) there be a movement in the English 
Roman Catholics to break the alliance of O Connell 
and of Exeter Hall The same two answers 
apply, ist, wait ; 2nd, how is this to the point ? 

5. Now comes what is to happen if these two con 
tingencies are realised : " strong temptations will be 
placed in the way of individuals, already imbued with 



a tone of thought congenial to Rome, to join her 

" Individuals"! Is this fair ? Let the reader pui 
himself in Keble s position and reflect that he kne\\ 
nothing whatever of Newman s qualms of conscience 
but knew a great deal about his nervous, fidget) 
disposition ; let him reflect that on the other hanc 
Keble was sure to know all about "Jack" Morris s 
escapade of last year, and of Ward s startling excesses 
and it will be obvious that he would suppose New 
man to mean these and the other young and foolish 
Tractarians by the word " individuals " ; and that he 
would never dream for a moment that Newman 
included himself among them. Then too, the hypo 
thetical nature, and remoteness, and futility of the 
conditions could not but impress him. " If we get a 
heretical Bishop or two, and if the Romanists in 
England break with Liberalism " ! " How," he woulc 
say, "could any sane and sober Anglican anyone at 
least who was an Anglican in heart -be driven towards 
Rome by such coincidences? If such a monomaniac 
as Jack Morris is driven, is Newman responsible 
Is he to resign St. Mary s because Jack Morris is 
mad ? He must stay where he is." 

6. Still Newman s conscience is not satisfied. He 
shoots again. But, once more, he slackens the fligh 
of this arrow by a contrary consideration, and blunts it 
with an interrogation : 

" People tell me, on the other hand, that I am, whether by ser 
mons or otherwise, exerting at St. Mary s a beneficial influence on 
our prospective clergy ; but what if I take to myself the credit o 
seeing further than they, and of having, in the course of the las 
year, discovered that what they approve so much, is very likely to 
end in Romanism ? " 


Again, it is impossible not to feel that Keble is unfairly 
treated. What had really happened " in the course of 
last year " had been, that Newman had received so 
severe a shock to his Anglicanism that he had never 
been at peace (beyond a month or two at Littlemore) 
since that time. But of all this Newman has hitherto 
revealed nothing. Keble knew that the young Trac- 
tarians in the course of last year had given their leader 
a great deal of trouble, and had made him nervously 
anxious about his responsibility for them. " What 
they approve so much, is very likely to end in Roman 
ism," meant, to Newman s mind, "for me as well as 
for my followers." But Keble had no means of 
knowing this, and no right to suspect it. 

7. Next comes another hypothetical revelation 

i effaced by a contrary statement : 

" The arguments which I have published against Romanism seem 

i to myself as cogent as ever, but men go by their sympathies, not by 

argument ; and if I feel the force of this influence myself, who bow 

to the arguments, why may not others still more, who never have in 

I the same degree admitted the arguments ? " 

Here the vague hypothetical suggestion " if I feel the 
force of this influence myself" is immediately dissipated 
by the direct statement that he " bows to the argu 
ments " ; and every suspicion is shifted from his 
argumentative and reasonable self to his unreasonable 

8. Coming at last somewhat nearer to the mark, he 
I reveals that Rogers had thought, a year ago, and still 

: thought, that he ought to give up St. Mary s. But 
this is " if his feelings continued" ; and the last words 
of all are that Rogers "expressed great reluctance to 
believe it must be so," which seems still to leave a 


loop-hole of hope. In the same paragraph he states a 
reason (though qualified with a " seem ") which, in 
itself, from Newman s point of view ought to have 
obliged him to resign St. Mary s without consulting 
anyone. For Newman s view was, that no one could 
lawfully retain an official position in the Church of 
England, who could not feel himself able to attack 
Rome. That being the case, the following words 

o o 

assume an importance greater than is at once 
apparent : 

" Nor can I counteract the danger by preaching or writing against 
Rome. I seem to myself almost to have shot my last arrow in the 
Article on English Catholicity. It must be added, that the very cir 
cumstance that I have committed myself against Rome has the effect 
of setting to sleep people suspicious about me, which is painful no 
that I begin to have suspicions about myself/ 

Possibly Keble was not so much moved by this last; 
consideration as Newman was. Certainly it was 
weakened by the words seem" and "almost," w r hich 
implied that the writer might change his mind. And 
indeed the " Article " in question had been so violent, 
and almost abusive, that a milder tone against Rome 
might seem to many of Newman s friends not to be 
regretted. Most certainly Keble must have been 
influenced, and influenced in quite a wrong direction, 
by Newman s misleading expression that he was now 
beginning to have suspicions about himself whereas 
he had been haunted by them, off and on, for fourteen 

Left thus in the dark, or, at best, in the twilight j 
Keble gave Newman the desired "leave to remain i 
But it was distinctly provisional. He assumed thai 
Newman did not at present see his way for himself j 
44 Till you seef," he replied, " I should certainly advise) 


you to stay." He also, very naturally, pressed on his 
consideration the mischief that his resignation would 
do to the Tractarian Cause ; but he did not bid him 
sacrifice his conscience, even to the Cause ; he might 
remain //// he saw\ \Jiis way\, and no longer. These 
are the words in which he describes the consequences 
of Newman s resignation: "It would be said, You 
see he can go on no longer with the Church of Eng 
land except in mere Lay Communion ; or people 
might say you repented of the Cause altogether." 
That, of course represented the fact. The Via Media 
had been absolutely " pulverized " by the vision of 
Rome. Newman did repent ; or rather, he had now 
no Cause, no Theology, to repent of. It had vanished ; 
it had left him " very nearly a pure Protestant." 5 

Of all this, Keble was quite ignorant. Naturally, 
however, his advice prevailed. Rogers had said, in 
effect, " Go by your feelings. You have/^// for more 
than a year that you are in a false position. Give it 
up, then." Keble, not knowing what Rogers knew,, 
said, " Wait till you see. Perhaps the cloud may pass 
away." To Newman this would seem less "wilful" 
than going by his feelings." True, the "world" 
might censure it as not quite honest. So much the 
better. Then he should feel more convinced than 
ever that he was right in tarrying the Lord s leisure 
and waiting still upon Him, The result was that 
Keble in the dark * gained the victory over Rogers in 
the light ; and Newman waited. 

130. He justifies the " leave " by " Explicit 

Reason " 

Keble had now sanctioned his friend s remaining at 
St. Mary s. Yet Newman was not easy. He knew, 


in his heart, that he had treated Keble unfairly in not 
supplying him with the full facts that might have 
afforded him a basis for deciding. This sanction, 
therefore, could not dissipate his uneasiness, unless he 
could supply it, as it were, with a " logical basis." 

This Newman could do with ease. Facts he could 
not state correctly, but proofs he had at hand, in any 
number, capable of proving anything by means of the 
logical faculty which he called the " explicit reason." 
So he sits down, only half assured by Keble s pro 
visional assent, to make himself wholly assured, and to 
prove both to Keble and to himself that the assent was 
justified, and that he ought to remain at St. Mary s. 
With the view of establishing this, he will suggest that, 
by remaining, he is contributing to the " infusion of 
Catholic truth " into the English Church ; which must 
be a good thing, whatever might come of it. He will 
add, too, that, in the University Pulpit, he can do 
battle against the rationalism of the day, of which 
Milman s writings were a sort of earnest. But, of 
course, these two good projects might be met with the 
rejoinder that a man must not " do evil that good may 
come of it " ; and that it was " evil " for a man with 
Romanizing tendencies to remain officially holding a 
prominent Anglican pulpit. The Romanizing tenden 
cies he cannot deny. But he can put the matter 
differently. He can demonstrate logically that he is 
simply teaching in St. Mary s what all the " doctors " 
of the Church of England have been teaching in a 
continuous series. 

Such a demonstration claims our attentive consider 
ation. For note the difficulties in the way of it. I 
have already stated Newman s theory about the 
necessity of hostility to Rome being essential to any 


honest tenure of an official position in the English 
Church. This was not a novel nor a discarded theory, 
but one that he held now, as before. " I have felt all 
along" so he wrote in a private letter in 1845 
" that Bishop Bull s theology was the only theology 
on which the English Church could stand. I have felt 
that opposition to the Church of Rome was part of 
that theology ; and that he who could not protest 
against the Church of Rome was no true divine in the 
English Church. I have never said, or attempted to 
say, that any one in office in the English Church, 
whether Bishop or Incumbent, could be otherwise than 
in hostility to the Church of Rome." Taking New 
man s own view of the subject, pronouncing no opinion 
of ours about the lawfulness of his remaining at St. 
Mary s, but putting ourselves in his place, we seem 
forced by our " explicit reason " to a conclusion of this 
kind, " I am an Anglican Incumbent. I cannot any 
longer avow myself to be in hostility to the Church of 
Rome. An Incumbent who is not in hostility to the 
Church of Rome is no true divine in the Church of 
England. Therefore I can no longer call myself a 
true divine in that Church. Therefore I am in a false 
position and must resign." 

Again (2), last year, he had imparted to two friends 
the secret that it was possible that he might be forced 
to join the Church of Rome ; (3) he had mooted to 
one of them the question whether the Church of 
England might not have "grace," even though she 
were " schismatical," and might not be allowed at least 
"to put herself into a state of penance" ; (4) he had 
suggested to the same friend that it might be their 
duty by remaining in the heretical Church of England, 
to "promote her return" to the Church of Rome ; (5) 


the opinions thus expressed to this friend a year ago 
remained substantially unchanged ; (6) he has (so he 
found afterwards) spoken his last word as an Anglican 
in 1839, besides avowing to Keble that he "seemed" 
to have shot " almost " his last arrow against Rome in 
1840; (7) not only in the letter to Rogers, but in the 
Apologia he tells us that he had begun " to wish for 
union between the Anglican Church and Rome, when 
and where possible " ; (8) he now felt " sore about the 
great Anglican divines as if they had taken him in. 7 
Some of these statements are weaker than others. It 
seems fairest to put down the weak as well as the 
strong. But the reader will note that the strongest 
are those that occur in private letters, nearest the time 
of the thoughts themselves, and therefore most likely 
to represent his thoughts with exactness : and they all 
converge to the same conclusion as that given above : 
" The great Anglican divines have taken me in. They 
made me attack Rome when I ought not to have done 
so. I cannot now attack Rome. I am sore about 
the Anglican divines, and I can no longer preach in 
their spirit from St. Mary s pulpit. Therefore from 
St. Mary s I will go." 

What can be clearer ? But now see the consum 
mate, though unconscious, art, with which the " explicit 
reason " will becloud and obfuscate what seems to us so 
clear, mystifying and confusing the reader all the more 
because the writer has mystified and confused himself, 
so that at last he and his reader drift quietly and easily^ 
into the haven of the desired conclusion, viz., that he 
and the Anglican divines are doing precisely the same 

" Say, that I move sympathies for Rome : in the same sense does 
Hooker, Taylor, Bull, &c. Their arguments may be against Rome, 


but the sympathies they raise must be towards Rome, so far as 
Rome maintains truths which our Church does not teach or enforce. 
Thus it is a question of degree between our divines and me. I may, 
if so be, go further ; I may raise sympathies more, but I am but 
urging minds in the same direction as they do. I am doing just the 
very thing which all our doctors have ever been doing." 

Every step is worth noting here for the delicacy of 
its admirably graduated suggestiveness. 

1. In the first place, introducing the great Anglican 
divines, he does not say which was the truth u their 
arguments were against Rome," but "their arguments 
may be against Rome " ; and then, instead of saying 
" but the sympathies they raised, although they were 
not actually towards Rome, ought logically to have been 
so" ; he continues, "the sympathies they raise must be 
towards Rome." 

2. Then he introduces that most fallacious of truisms 
the "question of degree." It is a a question of degree " 
between a horse s hair and a horse s tail. But of what 
use is such a statement except to mislead ? And it is 
preceded by a "thus." The "thus" suggests that 
what preceded must be satisfactory, since the conclusion 
that follows cannot be denied : " Thus, it is a question 
of degree between our divines and me." 

3. " I may, if so be, go further ; I may raise 
sympathies more." 

This is an understatement disguised under a " may." 
Would "the Anglican divines" have had to make any 
thing like Newman s confession about "disposing their 
hearers towards Rome," or have talked about " tending 
to Latin m," or have had to admit that followers of 
theirs had preached " totidem verbis, the Roman 
doctrine of the Mass " ? Take away the rhetoric, and 
the passage ought to have run " I do, I must frankly 


admit, go, in my own mind, a. great deal further. And 
I do (as I find from practical experience) raise sym 
pathies a great deal more towards Rome." 

4. "I am but urging minds in the same direction as 
they do." 

Having used " I may " above, where he ought to have 
used " I do " ; he now compensates for this by using 
" I am " for " I may perhaps be." Again, a pin and a 
dagger may be " but " urged " in the same direction" : 
yet the result will not be the same thing. Yet the cleverly 
inserted "but," meaning " only " and being combined 
with " same," gives the reader the vague impression of 
"only the same thing." And now, with the notion of 
" only the same thing " floating before his mind, the 
reader, or rather the writer, drops gently into the con 
clusion, which would have astounded him if he had not 
been so smoothly and imperceptibly led towards it, 
viz., that every Anglican Divine worthy of the name, in 
every period of the Church of England, has not only 
done what Newman was doing then, but has ever been 
doing it : 

5. " I am doing just the very thing which all our 
doctors have ever been doing." 

The processes of Newman s " explicit reason " were 
less honourable if indeed logic can be referred to a 
standard of honour or dishonour than his actual 
conduct. Attempts to defend the former are stultified 
by the following simple statement of fact in the 
Apologia immediately following this elaborate self- 
justification. " I may add that from this time I had a 
curate at St. Mary s, who gradually took more and 
more of my work." 



131. Preparing to "prove" the cannon 

ONE reason alleged by Newman to Keble for retain 
ing St. Mary s was, that they had not yet made fair 
trial how much the English Church would bear. " I 
know," he adds, " it is a hazardous experiment like 
proving cannon. Yet we must not take it for granted 
that the metal will burst in the operation. It has borne 
at various times, not to say at this time, a great infusion 
of Catholic truth without damage." What this means 
is, that the Church of England under Charles I. had 
received and, under Victoria, was at that very time 
receiving " Catholic " interpretations put upon her 
formularies, and " Catholic " usages added as being in 
accordance with those formularies ; and that this pro 
cess of " infusion " might be still further continued*. 

But what precisely was the danger contemplated in 
the words, " that the metal will burst in the opera 
tion "? It is the clanger of a " split" or a " schism " 
which he has repeatedly contemplated in preceding 
letters. In a later letter, this very metaphor is re 
peated : "In twenty years, things must either get much 
better or the poor Church must have got much worse 
or have broken to pieces." This then is the " hazard, 


that the Anglican Church by the voice of its constituted 
authorities may definitely reject Tractarian doctrine. 
Then one of two things may happen. The Tractarians 
may submit, conciliated perhaps by one or two trifling 
concessions. The result of that would be a miserable 
compromise, and the Church would " grow much 
worse." Or they may refuse to submit. Then there 
will be a great secession. The right-principled party, 
formally declared schismatical, will be driven out, either 
to Rome, or to a separate Anglican Catholic Church. 
If the Tractarians were numerous, disestablishment 
would probably follow ; the High and Dry and the 
Evangelicals would form two separate sects ; the 
Liberals, perhaps, a third. Thus there would be a 
schism or a " split/ and the " poor Church " would be 
"broken in pieces." In that case, the Church would 
not have borne the " infusion " and the cannon would 
have " burst." 

At this point the impatient reader probably asks, 
" Why all this labour to explain what is patent to a 
child ? " Because it was not patent to Newman him 
self. In 1864, defending himself against Kingsley s 
attacks of something like treachery to the Church of 
England, Newman reviewed this metaphor of the 
cannon and said to himself, " But this -is treachery ; 
that is to say it looks like it that I, an Anglican 
Minister, should deliberately try an experiment that 
might blow the Church to pieces ! This will not do. I 
could not have meant this. What I must have meant 
was, not the concrete National Church, but the 
Catholicity of the Anglican Church, that is, my sub 
jective idea of that Church." And accordingly 
between two paragraphs of his letter to Keble he 
interpolates this explanation in the Apologia : 


" Here I observe, that, what was contemplated was the bursting of 
the Catholicity of the Anglican Church, that is, my subjective idea of 
that Church." 

Is there any one to whom the meaning, k< patent" a 
moment ago, may seem suddenly clouded by Newman s 
interpolation ? To him I recommend the simple 
expedient of substituting for the pronoun " it," in 
Newman s original letter, the phrase which he himself 
suggests, in his subsequent explanation: (i) " // has 
borne at various times, not to say at this time, a great 
infusion of Catholic truth without damage ; " (2) " The 
Catholicity of the Anglican Church, that is, my sub 
jective idea of that Church, has borne at various times 
\e.g., under Charles I. and Charles II.] not to say at 
this time, a great infusion," &c., &c. But this is non 
sense. This interpretation being dismissed, the only 
question now is how Newman could possibly so misin 
terpret his own plain words. That indeed would be 
hard to answer if we had not heard him previously tell 
Rose that he must not be called inconsistent if, in 
accounting for what he has said, he gives "different 
reasons at different times." Not that Newman with 
his peculiar incapacity for seeing plain things as plain 
men see them was really treacherous. He had a 
right, under the circumstances, to " prove the cannon." 
His duty, as he rightly felt at times, was, above all, to 
truth. He was justified in determining not to quit 
the English Church till he had definitely ascertained 
whether it would, or would not, allow him to remain 
within its pale and teach what he conceived to be 
Christian doctrine. As to the result, that was nothing 
to him. If the Church was what it ought to be, it 
would not burst ; if it was not, the sooner it burst the 


Treachery to the English Church, from his point of 
view, there was certainly none, not at least in his 
present course ; but he was not perhaps quite true to 
himself. A long letter to Rogers written (25 November) 
while he was preparing for his new enterprise, shows 
that he could not feel sure that he might not secede to 
Rome. Pugin had deterred him by saying that " if 
two hundred of the ablest and best of our men were 
to go over, they would be received coldly." Still his 
mind is fixed on Rome. " I think our way certainly 
is to form alliances with foreigners ; the jealousies 
(natural) with R.C/s at home preclude anything 
good." It is true that he is " more comfortable 
than he was ; but he cannot " draw out " his " reasons 
for it " ; and the renewed assurances of " comfortable 
ness " die out with an "if" ; with a doubt whether he 
can trust himself; with a mention of "conscience" ; 
and with a suggestion that his present peace of mind 
may not " continue." 

" The upshot is, whether I continue so or not, that I am much 
more comfortable than I have been. I do not fear at all any num 
ber of persons as likely to go to Rome, if I am secure about myself. 
If I can trust myself, I can trust others. We have so many things 
on our side, that a good conscience is all that one wants. " 

Five weeks later (2 January) having spent the 
interval in "drawing out" controversial reasons for 
believing the Anglican Articles to be susceptible of 
Roman interpretations, he reproves Rogers for catching 
at " that Lutheran s saying that Dr. W[iseman] was an 
unscrupulous controversialist." " I dare say he is," he 
replies, " but who is not ? Is Jeremy Taylor, or Laud, 
or Stillingfleet ? I declare I think it as rare a thing, 
candour in controversy, as to be a Saint." Under 


these circumstances, his present occupation was not 
likely to conduce to his remaining " comfortable." 
"A good conscience 7 was all that he wanted. But, 
by his own confession, he was destroying his chance of 
it by engaging in a task which almost involved a bad 
conscience. The task was now completed. In the 
first week of March, 1841, Tract No. 90 was given to 
the world, and in the last week in February weary- 
under the reaction from excitement of composition, 
disgusted with himself and his work, sick of his 
scruples, and, still more, of his possible " unscrupu- 
lousness "- Newman reached the very depth of " un- 
comfortableness." In answer to his sister s birthday 
congratulations, he replies, " I never had such dreary 
thoughts as on finding myself forty. Twenty-one was 
bad enough." 

132. The sermons that preceded Tract 90 

The "Subjection of the Reason and Feelings to the 
Revealed Word " (i.e. to the letter of the Scriptures) 
was written (13 December 1840) while Newman was 
subordinating his own Reason to his feelings in the 
interpretation of the Anglican Articles. It seems to 
urge others to the same course. God is pleased, we 
are told, when we offer Him the sacrifice of our 
reason. An example is held up to us for imitation. 
When we hear of "a dreadful fire," we "become 
frightened in a measure far exceeding what a mere 
calculation of probabilities requires " ; we fix our 
thoughts on the chance of its happening to -its " in a 
way quite contrary to what reason suggests." This 
morbid excrescence of unmanly folly, Newman would 
have us recognize as a kind of first-fruits of faith 


acceptable to the Supreme Truth : lt What Almighty 
God, then, requires of us is, to do that in one instance, 
for His sake, which we do, so commonly, in indulgence 
of our own waywardness and weakness " ! Again, 
in " Faith the Title for Justification," he regards Faith 
as a kind of legal bond, guaranteeing us justification at 
some time or other. The extreme austerity of the 
views which insist on Baptism as essential to salvation 
is, in this sermon, softened by the statement that even 
the unbaptized, if they possess this title-deed of Faith, 
will be saved somehow not indeed by Church Privi 
leges (for they are cut off from these) but, if need be, 
by miracle. He seems here and there to be pleading, 
not for the heathen, but for those who (like himself 
perhaps) were in a Christian land, yet not in the 
Catholic Church : " Thousands who are in unconscious 
heresy or unwilling schism, still are, through Faith, in 
the state of Cornelius, when his prayers and alms went 
up before God." Compare this with the expression in 
Newman s letter to his friend Church in the same year 
(25 Dec.), " I am very sanguine . . . that our prayers 
and alms will come up as a memorial before God, and 
that this miserable confusion will turn to good"- and 
we see, at once, that Newman is putting himself and 
his party in the position of " Cornelius," not yet in 
the Church, but preparing, by alms and prayer, for 
admission into it. To other correspondents we shall 
find him using the story of Cornelius with the same 
application. A similar thought follows in this sermon. 
He deplores " the consequences of our anomalous 
state," " the inconsistency of even our good men," and 
asks, " What does all this show but that God s Spirit 
indeed is striving among us, but that the Church of 
the living God is hardly here ? " And then, after 


declaring that "He has hid His face" and that we 
have " aids, but not Gospel graces," he concludes with 
one of those hypothetical encouragements to the select 
few more ghastly than any warning : " But let us* praise 
God, my brethren, if He has placed us, as we trust, 
within the bounds of His kingdom." 

How few of his hearers would know the weakness 
of that " trust," the vagueness of the locality mentally 
designated by "within the bounds," and the horror of 
that IF ! But we know it, because he was within a 
month of his fortieth birthday, "the most dreary day 
of his life," as he called it to his sister. And how 
could it be otherwise if his " Faith " was his guarantee 
faith, as to which we " can but guess" whether we 
have it or not ? The " dreary day," having passed, 
prepares us to find him in his next sermon, a week 
afterwards, commenting on the "long and dreary 
delay " between Faith and its reward. " Cornelius " 
again recurs to his mind as a u specimen of that long 
and miserable delay which so often occurs now, when 
the times of the Law seem to have returned, and 
men believe and embrace what they died without 
possessing." Here we catch the echo of that never 
forgotten thought recorded in the Sicilian diary, when 
he described himself as " loving " the truth but " not 
possessing it," and as having " very little love," though 
a certain amount of " faith." And this may prepare us 
for what follows in the sermon, a passionate eulogium 
of "love," in which (a rare thing for him) he anticipates 
the Revised Version and improves upon the Prayer 
Book, calling it " that most excellent gift of love " and 
protesting that "whereas faith is the essence of all 
religion, and of the Jewish inclusive, love is the great 
grace of Christianity." 




In that same week Tract 90 appeared ; and the 
excitement it created relieved him for some time from 
religious anxieties. This, and Lent, induced to cor 
rect his recent lapse into subjective religion in his next 
sermon (21 March) which warns us that, though the 
defect of " love " cannot be remedied by any one 
means, " yet still, it does seem as if abstinence and 
fasting availed much towards its removal ; so much so, 
that, granting love is necessary, these are necessary." 

T 33- " The proving" or Tract 90 

" My only solicitude has been to have an answer in 
controversy why an individual is not bound to leave 
the English Church " these words, writtc n during 
the composition of Tract 90. truthfully describe the 
object of it. In the Apologia he gives, as " the actual 
cause of his writing this Tract, the restlessness of 
those who neither liked the Via Media nor his strong 
judgment against Rome." Of course, this also was 
true in part : but it was not the whole truth. " I had 
been enjoined," he says, " I think by my Bishop, to 
keep these men straight." That may be so ; but what 
he ignores is, that he also wrote it to keep himself 
straight. As he wrote the Article in the British 
Critic, so he wrote Tract 90, with the view of being 
" guided by his Reason," in order to ascertain the 
"logical claim" upon him of the Vision of 1839. In 
private letters and conversations, he could allege, as a 
reason why an individual should not leave the Church 
of England, that the New Testament does not, so to 
speak, countenance individual conversions, unless 
accompanied by miracles. But this reply would hardly 
pass in controversy. Tract 90 was to supply an 


answer " in controversy," by showing that an Anglican 
might sign the Thirty-nine Articles and yet virtually 
accept the whole cycle of Roman (not, of course, 
Papal) doctrine. The inference would then be obvious. 
If a Romanizing Anglican could lawfully Romanize 
where he was, why should he not stay where he was ? 

In the face of some of the statements in the Articles, 
e.g. that " the Church of Rome hath erred," and that 
certain Romish doctrine is by name condemned, an 
attempt so consummately audacious cannot be defended 
by such a general statement as that of James Mozley, 
" that the Articles were expressly worded with a view 
to bring in Roman Catholics." This transparent fallacy 
is based on the omission of the word " some." The 
Articles were worded so as to include some who had 
been Romanists but who were willing to go a great 
way with the Reformation ; and so as to exclude other 
Romanists who would go no way, or only a little way. 
When vague generalities of this kind came to be 
tested by application to particular Articles, it was felt 
both by Newman s friends and his enemies that he 
had failed. I have mentioned above, Newman s extra 
ordinary way of evading the statement that " General 
Councils have erred," by excepting those cases in which 
General Councils have been called together " in the 
name of Christ . Such an evasion Newman s own 
ardent follower, W. G. Ward, was forced to reject. 
Ward also rejected the distinction* drawn by him be 
tween u the sacrifices of Masses " which the Articles / 
condemn, and " the sacrifice of the Mass" which, says 
Tract 90, " is not spoken of." 

Still more unhappy is Newman because he is guilty 
of historical inaccuracy as well as of logical quibbling 
in his evasion of the Article which condemns "the 

R 2 


Romish doctrine concerning purgatory, pardons, &c." 
On this, the Tract says, " By the Romish doctrine 7 
is not meant the Tridentine [statement] because this 
Article was drawn up before the decree of the Council 
of Trent." But Bishop Thirlwall, remarks, that the 
history of the text of the Article first, as framed, and 
then, as promulgated by authority shows Newman s 
explanation to be an error. It was " the doctrine of 
the Schoolmen " that the Article originally condemned. 
The epithet " Romish " was afterwards substituted, 
after the Tridentine decrees and with " distinct refer 
ence " to them. 

Different readers will be guided by their different 
temperaments and trainings (much more, perhaps, 
than by their theological beliefs) to different shades of 
condemnation of these interpretations. Newman s 
kindly Bishop who bore a good deal of unpopularity 
owing to the imputation of favouring the Tracts- 
declared No. 90 " objectionable," and afterwards de 
clared that he disapproved of a principle of interpreta 
tion that might make the Articles " mean anything or 
nothing." Ward, the logician, zealously defended the 
Tract on the ground that he had a right to sign the 
Articles in a "non-natural" sense, and, under that 
shelter, to hold " the whole cycle of Roman doctrine." 
Archdeacon Hare pronounced some of the interpreta 
tions to be " sophistical." To Bishop Thirlwall they 
seemed likely to impress "ordinary readers" as "ex 
cessively refined and artificial " ; concerning Newman s 
construction of some of the Articles, the Bishop says 
that it " could scarcely have occurred to the writer if 
his judgment had not been biassed by his wishes"; 
and this impression he retains after all that he has seen 
adduced in defence or explanation of the Tract, 


although he thinks it " sufficient to repel the imputa 
tion of a conscious obliquity of view." 

Thirlwall, besides having an eminently judicial mind, 
had received a legal training. This adds a special 
weight to his decision, and gives him a great advantage 
over Dean Church, who stands almost alone in defend 
ing Newman s method of interpretation as " dry " 
indeed and " logical," but " such as a professed theolo 
gian might use" ; and as " the way in which " Articles 
" would be likely to be examined and construed by a 
purely legal court." He will not even allow that any 
of the interpretations are " far-fetched and artificial." 
He will only admit that some of them "seemed " so at 
the time. Pusey, at all events (according to Church s 
own testimony in a contemporary letter) appears to 
have been " much annoyed." Both Pusey and the 
Bishop of Oxford found "a great difficulty" in the 
fact that Newman had " committed himself to leaving 
Ora pro nobis an open question" This was the 
point on which Newman had previously quarrelled 
with many of his own party. That being the case, 
was it surprising if the Oxford authorities found it 
startling ? Condemnation of some kind being inevit 
able, some may prefer to call the writer " unconsciously 
oblique ; " others " biassed by his wishes " ; others 
" unwittingly sophistical" ; but having regard to New 
man s natural capacity for using words inaccurately 
and unnaturally, I should prefer the word coined by 
his follower Ward, and briefly say, " The interpre 
tation of the Articles in Tract 90 was non-natural. 

134. What was amiss in Tract 90 

It does not follow, of course, because his detailed 
application of his principle was unsatisfactory, that the 


principle itself was wrong. He assumed that, instead 
of " the particular belief of the writers " of the Articles, 
the " belief of the Catholic Church " ought to be 
adopted as the standard for their interpretation. There 
by he certainly broke the ordinary rule of construing 
documents according to the known opinions and inten 
tions of their writers. But this rule, though it should 
almost always regulate our interpretation of private 
documents, cannot be extended to public. How often 
do judges " drive a coach and four " through a clumsily 
worded Act of Parliament, entirely disregarding what 
the authors of it meant to say, if the Act does not say 
it. This they sometimes do even when the intention 
of the Act (which they neglect) is good, and when the 
wording of it (by which they are guided) leads to 
unfortunate results. And, of course, this is still more 
justifiable where the intentions of the Act have been 
proved by experience to be unwise, and where the 
wording of it suggests an evasion for the public good. 
Substitute " Articles " for " Acts of Parliament," and 
"belief of the Catholic Church" for "public good," 
and what have we here but Newman s principle of 
interpretation ? 

Nor can it be said that, though applicable to legal 
documents, this method is unworthy of such religious 
formularies as the Anglican Articles. On the contrary, 
some would agree with Dr. Hampden that it would be 
best, in the abstract, that the clergy should be bound 
by no such documents, but simply by the indirect 
restriction arising from the Services of the Church. 
The thoughtless, or brainless, or unscrupulous they 
would urge are not likely to be excluded by such bar 
riers, while they might needlessly deter men of excessive 
scruple, however excellent in character, purpose, and 


ability, and loyal to the English Church. Even those 
who would maintain the Articles, because " the freedom 
of the clergy means the servitude of the laity," would 
mostly allow that Formularies of this kind should err 
rather towards breadth than towards narrowness. Many 
of the clergy who are very far from Newman s school 
of theology have availed themselves to some extent 
of Newman s principle. Some, without any sense of 
disloyalty to the National Church, hold some doctrine 
about probation after death which would appear to 
involve a theory, widely different indeed from that 
practically in force among Romanists, but still one that 
can hardly disown the name of " purgatory." Again, 
that the Eucharist is an act of spiritual sacrifice, would 
be maintained by some who would strenuously object 
to call it the " Sacrifice of the Mass," or to make subtle 
distinctions between this and " Sacrifice of Masses." 
So far therefore, as concerns the principle of Tract 90, 
it appears to be one that the legal and the clerical 
professions in England would not condemn. If any 
clergyman, at all events, were to pass an unqualified 
condemnation on it, and did not soon feel compelled to 
qualify his words, when he came to reflect on his own 
position and on that well-known proverb which forbids 
the throwing of stones, the chances are that he 
would either be very young or not much given to 

It was the execution, then, and not the principle, 
that was to blame. It was in the " drawing out of his 
reasons " that he went wrong. And here his error was 
twofold. In the first place, he seemed to assume that 
every opinion, however extreme in the direction of 
Rome, that had been once expressed by any one High 
Church Bishop or Divine, and had not been authorita- 


tively censured, at once became part of justifiable 
Anglican doctrine. This view is thus set forth in the 
Apologia : 

" I claimed, in behalf of who would in the Anglican Church, the 
right of holding with Bramhall a comprecation with the Saints, and 
the Mass all but Transubstantiation with Andrewes, or with Hooker, 
that Transubstantiation is not a point for Churches to part com 
munion upon, or with Hammond, that a General Council, truly such, 
never did, never shall err in a matter of faith, or with Bull that man 
had t in Paradise and lost on the Fall, a supernatural habit of grace, 
or with Thorndike, that penance is a propitiation for post-baptismal 
sin, or with Pearson that the all-powerful name of Jesus is no other 
wise given than in the Catholic Church. Two can play at that, 
was often in my mouth, when men of Protestant sentiments appealed 
to the Articles, Homilies, or Reformers ; in the sense that, if they 
had a right to speak loud, I had the liberty to speak out as well as 
they, and had the means, by the same or parallel appeals, of giving 
them tit for tat." 

Yet he himself had admitted that " No opinion, 
however extreme any way, but may be found, as the 
Romanists are not slow to reproach us, among its 
Bishops and Divines." Surely then, it is, so to speak, an 
extreme of extremes, to say that an Anglican may hold 
all those extreme opinions that tend towards Rome simply 
because one Bishop or Divine may have held one of 
them and may not have been censured for it. This he 
calls, a " large bold system of religion, very unlike the 
Protestantism of the day," but " the concentration and 
adjustment of great Anglican authorities " ! Whether 
it would have been " large " enough to include the 
Evangelicals and Liberals, in the event of the Trac- 
tarians becoming predominant in the Church, is perhaps 
doubtful. " Bold " it certainly was ; bold enough to 
disturb what he elsewhere calls " the religion which has 
been received for 300 years " in England. And, 


being so "bold," it ought at least to have been put 
forth with great and almost tender consideration for 
those whose feelings it was sure to wound. In law, 
custom of " 300 years " would count for much ; but 
Newman in his Tract seems to have let it count for 
very little indeed in religion. As a specimen of a 
too narrow and almost provoking legality take this 
summary of part of Tract 90 from the Apologia. In it 
he proves that the Anglican Articles indirectly teach us 
to treat the apocryphal Book of Wisdom (as well as 
the book of Tobit) as the infallible word of God : 

"Let the reader observe: the 35th Article says: The second 
Book of Homilies does contain a godly and wholesome doctrine, and 
necessary for these times, as doth the former Book of Homilies. 
Here the doctrine of the Homilies is recognized as godly and whole 
some, and concurrence in that recognition is imposed on all subscribers 
of the Articles. Let us then turn to the Homilies, and see what this 
godly doctrine is : I quoted from them to the following effect : 

" i. They declare that the so-called apocryphal book of Tobit 
is the teaching of the Holy Ghost, and is Scripture. 

" 2. That the so-called apocryphal book of Wisdom is Scripture; 
and the infallible and undeceivable word of God." 

If we turn to his references we find that the 
Homilies do not " declare," but imply, the authority of 
the Apocrypha, e.g. " the holy apostles and disciples of 
Christ . . . the godly fathers also, that were both before 
and since Christ, endited, without doubt, with the HOLY 
GHOST ... St. Paul . . . Isaiah the Prophet teaches us 
on this wise . . . And the holy father Tobit giveth this 
counsel. And the learned and godly doctor Chrysostom 
giveth this admonition." And again, " the same lesson 
doth the HOLY GHOST teack in sundry places of the 
Scripture, saying 4 Mercifulness and almsgiving &c, 
[Tobit iv.]." It is irritating* that these casual remnants 
of unreformed usage should be held up as suggestions 


for interpreting the Articles. It is still more irritating 
(and hardly fair) that the Apologia should omit that 
the Sixth Article expressly exchides the book of Tobit 
and the book of Wisdom from the list of the books of 
Scripture, and declares that the Church does " not apply 
them to establish any doctrine." The Tract itself is not 
so unfair here as the Apologia. The former recognizes 
more distinctly that subscription to the Articles does 
not bind the subscriber to accept each statement in the 
Homilies. Still, the spirit of the Tract is litigious, and 
sometimes sophistical. For instance, in dealing with 
" General Councils," " gathered together by princes," 
and pronounced by our 2ist Article liable to error, 
what are we to say to Newman s way of getting rid of 
the liability : " The Article merely contemplates the 
human prince, not the King of Saints 7 ? 

Again, take his assertion (quoted on p. 248) as to 
Hammond s opinion. It is intolerable, as Archdeacon 
Hare^ has pointed out, that he should cite no authority 
for a statement of this kind, and yet should ignore 
such sayings of Hammond as this, " Councils are only 
denied by us the privilege of infallibility, not that of 
being useful and venerable in a lower degree." It is 
this combination of the sharp practice of ultra-legality 
on the surface, with gross, fundamental injustice of 
mind not deliberate, but arising from a blindness, and 
a contentedness to be blind, to what is fair and honest, 
in all matters of religious controversy which, even 
now makes it difficult for those who love justice to 
review some of Newman s interpretations without im 
patience. In order to be fair to him, we need con 
stantly to remind ourselves of his low standard of con 
troversial scrupulousness ; of his sense of the impotence 
I of words in their application to religious questions ; of 


his intense nervous excitement during 1 composition ; 
and of his absolute inability to judge his own logic and 
arguments, and still less to see how they would look to 
others. It is his blunted sense of reason that compels 
him to exaggerate everything. He is like an all but deaf 
composer trying his own music on the piano, and not 
satisfied that there is any tune in it unless he plays it 
with such an excess of loudness that he catches some 
sound of it himself. 

Take, for example, the way in which he treats, as a 
whole, the difficulties in the Articles for any one hold 
ing what Newman called " Catholic doctrine." His 
followers Ward for example recognized them very 
keenly. In the eyes of the world they seemed so 
manifestly insuperable that, to ignore them, a man must 
be either a fool or a hypocrite. Why then did New 
man affect to ignore them, and the opposition that his 
treatise must provoke ? In part, no doubt, he was 
really blind. But in part he assumed blindness. In 
private, to an intimate friend he could recognize the 
novelty of the "principle" that he asserted, and the 
reasonableness that he should be persecuted for it, 
" If you knew all," he writes to Bowden, " you will see 
that I have asserted a great principle, and I ought to 
suffer for it." But in public, in the Tract itself, nothing 
can exceed the audacious tranquillity with which he 
denies the very existence of any difficulties at all, in 
the way of his theory. There are, he says, real 
difficulties to "a Catholic Christian in the ecclesiastical 
position of the English Church ; but the statements of 
the Articles are not in the number."* Throughout the 
Tract he seems to be putting in practice his own 
theory, recently avowed in his Sermons on Reason, in 
which he had described, among other duties of a candid 


and truth-seeking mind, that of " neglecting verbal 
difficulties " and allowing faith to " interpret " and 
"colour" the evidence. 

135. Signs of danger 

People who "prove" fire-arms are mostly prepared 
for an occasional explosion. Newman had described 
his enterprise as a " proving " of this sort ; yet he was 
unprepared for what followed. In Keble out of the 
world and old-fashioned one could have understood 
this ; but Ward, who, besides Keble, had seen the 
Tract, predicted a hot reception ; why was the author 
taken by surprise * ? 

There were more causes than one. It was often 
Newman s way to prophesy hard things for himself, and 
then to be surprised when they came. His feeling too 
about the risk of the enterprise would wear off during 
the excitement of composing the Tract. Moreover, 
unexpected circumstances contributed to increase the 
shock caused by it. Immediately before its publication, 
the Press had been freely discussing the Movement. 
Enemies and friends had agreed that " Puseyism " was 
by no means an affair of vestments and ceremonies. 
One hostile critic declared that for earnestness and 
strength, there had been no parallel to it since the 
Reformers and Puritans. The recent publication of a 
Tract inculcating " Reserve in communicating Divine 
Truth " had aroused in some minds, and heightened in 
others, the suspicion of concealed Romanism. Before 
the Tract on Reserve, says Mark Pattison, Newman 
was called " mystical " ; after it, " popish ." 4 

In the House of Commons the Movement had been 
publicly identified with Oxford. Lord Morpeth had 


made a fierce attack on the University, as a place 
where people who were paid for teaching Protestantism, 
were doing all they could to bring things nearer to 
Rome. The Times, on the other hand, at this stage 
took Sir James Stephen s view, and while keeping 
clear of theological questions repeatedly eulogized 
the zeal, energy, success, and progress of the Tractarian 
Party. In Evangelical and Nonconformist England, 
it was natural to interpret the New Anglicanism in 
connection with the attitude of the University toward 
the Dissenters Disabilities Bill. Under Newman s 
leadership, the Tractarians had played a prominent 
part in keeping Protestant Dissenters out of Oxford ; 
now they seemed bent on letting Romanists in. The 
Oxford authorities, who had long endured in silence 
the public identification of their University with the 
Tractarian Movement, were roused at last by the 
reflections cast on the honour of Oxford in Parliament. 
Just when they were desiring, and might naturally 
have been seeking, some pretext for a disclaimer, 
Tract 90 was flung in their face. 

They resolved, at once, on action. Dean Church, 
at this point, gives evidence in two distinct characters. 
As the author of The Oxford Movement, he asserts 
that it was the Heads who " dared not risk an appeal 
to the University at large." But, as the writer of a 
very interesting letter to Rogers, written at the time 
when the Tract came out, he adds that Newman * 
and Keble themselves dreaded the appeal to Convoca 
tion. It seems far more probable that, not through 
any fear whatever as to the decision of Convocation, 
but through the desire to strike quick as well as hard, 
the Heads determined to act with a celerity only possible 
to a small body.^ Youthful Tractarians such as Dean 


Church was in those days might say that it was not 
fair that the public should be " humbugged " by the 
Heads into thinking that their joint action was a 
formal act of the University. But the Heads might 
have rejoined that the public had been " humbugged " 
already into thinking that the action of the Tractarians 
was an act of the University, and that it was time to 
undeceive them. They met twice before 14 March. 
At the first meeting nothing was settled, because many 
had not read the Tract an objection, by the way, 
which, in the case of Hampden, had not been always 
considered an impediment to action. After the second 
meeting, the decision was referred to a Committee. 
Meantime Newman, aware of the object of the meetings, 
began to write an explanation of the Tract. Informally, 
through Pusey and another, he communicated his 
purpose to the Heads. On the I5th Newman passed 
his explanatory pamphlet^ through the press ; but on 
that same day the Heads had printed a strong resolu 
tion that " * No. 90 suggested a mode of interpreting 
the Articles which evaded rather than explained them, 
and which defeated the object, and was inconsistent 
with the observance of the Statutes about them." 

Meantime (before 20 March) the Bishop of Oxford 
had sent a message through Pusey, in which, while 
disconnecting himself from the charge of " evasion," 
he begged Newman not to discuss the Articles any 
more in the Tracts. He also expressed " the pain he 
felt " at Tract 90. He added (apparently at the same 
time) that he considered it " objectionable " ; and that 
it might tend to disturb the peace of the Church. 
To Newman, at first, both the action of the Heads, 
and that of the Bishop, came as agreeable surprises. 
He had been much harassed by the fear of a censure 


from Convocation, and had also expected something 
much more severe from the Bishop. In the fulness 
of his gratitude, he wrote at once to the latter, offering 
to do anything the Bishop wished to suppress No. 90, 
or stop the Tracts, or give up St. Mary s. A very 
kind reply encouraged Newman to "open his heart" 
to the Bishop " rather freely" (20 March) in a second 
letter (apparently the one in the Apologia dated 20 
March) in which he vindicated himself from the 
charge of wantonly disturbing the peace of the Church, 
declaring that "collision must at some time ensue 
between members of the Church of opposite senti 
ments," and that he still felt " obliged to think the 
Tract necessary." 

This letter, if it did not withdraw, prepared the way 
for withdrawing, the offer to suppress the Tract. 
There followed a series of letters from Newman to the 
Bishop through Pusey (dated 24 March and following 
days)f. In these, beginning by professing himself still 
ready, but more and more reluctant, to suppress No. 
90, he finally avowed his resolution to resign his living 
also, if the Bishop " publicly intimated " that he must 
suppress the Tract, or if he " spoke strongly in his 
Charge against" it. On or before 25 March, the 
Bishop had requested Newman to save him the pain 
of a public or episcopal condemnation, by taking the 
following course. Newman was to write to the Bishop 
stating that "at his bidding" he would suppress Tract 
90. Thus, no episcopal reasons would be given, no 
doctrine condemned. The Bishop might be thought 
to be bidding its suppression simply for the sake of 
peace. But this plan did not now satisfy Newman. 
He had changed his views. On 15 March he had 
rejoiced because the Heads, while condemning him 


personally for "evasion," had condemned no doc 
trine." Now, ten days afterwards, he discovers that 
the Heads " have thereby indirectly condemned the 
views of doctrine in the Tract." Hence, the Bishop, 
even though putting his " bidding " on the ground ol 
peace, would " virtually, in the eyes of the world," be 
censuring the doctrine also. He therefore proposes 
that, if he is to suppress the Tract, he should also 
resign his living. Should be suppress it, the Bishops, 
he says, would still " be charging against it. This the 
Bishop of London announces." 

A treatise, withdrawn by its author as soon as 
published, might possibly however heterodox or 
disloyal to the Church of England have been 
passed over by most of the Bishops on the ground that 
the author himself, by suppressing it, had pronounced 
its condemnation. But Newman seems to have felt 
that even this course might not save him : the Bishops 
would " still be charging against it." If this was likely 
to happen, even in the event of his suppressing the 
Tract, much more would it happen (one might have 
supposed) if he did not suppress it. This seems 
obvious to every one. What the causes were that 
prevented it from being obvious to Newman, and made 
him imagine that he might continue to circulate his 
Tract with the tacit sanction of the Bishops, the next 
chapter will explain. 



136. Newman orit-manoeuvres his Bishop 

IN no part of the Apologia does its author show 
himself more inaccurate and unfair than in his account 
of a supposed "understanding" between himself and 
the Bishops after the condemnation of Tract 90 by the 
Heads of the Oxford Colleges. His own conduct 
towards his own Bishop * will appear, to say the least, 
a poor return for the kindness that had befriended 
him against popular clamour ; judged severely, it would 
only escape the charge of sharp practice under cover 
of the excuse we have been so often obliged to allege 
excessive excitement. Yet blaming others, and not 
for the first time, for his own fault he poses in the 
Apologia as an injured and deceived person, and 
this, too, repeatedly. Casting on the whole of the 
Episcopal Bench the charge which he brings against 
the Anglican divines, he says, in effect, they have " taken 
him in"; he is "sore about them." Even his own 
kind-hearted, easy-going, unsuspicious Bishop he only 
exempts from the severity of this accusation by imputing 
to him what to many minds will seem certainly more 
contemptible, possibly more immoral. The Bishop of 
Oxford, we shall find Newman virtually saying broke 
VOL. n s 


his word and condemned Tract 90, not because he 
wished to speak ill of it, nor because he thought ill of 
it, but because the other Bishops made him. 

So unmerited, so easily credited, and, if true, so 
calculated to bring contempt on the Church of England, 
has been this charge of treachery against the whole body 
of her Bishops brought by one who could hardly be 
acquitted of something approaching to treachery if he 
were quite responsible for his actions, that I have not 
hesitated, and shall not hesitate, to inflict on the reader, 
at this stage, a number of somewhat minute details, 
necessary if he wishes to gain -what the Apologia is 
far from giving a correct notion of what happened 
after Tract 90. 

On 28 March, the Bishop of Oxford sent Newman 
a final message. The latter was to write, immediately, 
a letter intended for publication, but addressed to the 
Bishop, in which Newman himselj was to " publish his 
own condemnation." The intention obviously was 
that by pronouncing his own condemnation, Newman 
should spare his Bishop the pain of publicly condemn 
ing him. Two days did not elapse before Newman, 
writing to his sister, misinforms her as to what the 
Bishop s condemnation really was : 

" The Tract affair is settled on these terms, which others may 
think a disappointment, but to me is a very fair bargain. I am now 
publishing a letter to the Bishop at his wish, stating that he wishes 
the Tracts to be discontinued, and he thinks No. 90 objectionable as 
tending to disturb the Church. I am quite satisfied with the bargain 
I have got, if this is all as I suppose it will be." 

Here, at once, is a sanguine misrepresentation. If 
the Bishop had said it was " objectionable, as tending 
to disturb the Church," he would virtually have 


acquitted it of any more serious fault. But he said no 
such thing. The Bishop had pronounced, and Newman 
was to repeat, two judgments, (i) that the Tract was 
" objectionable " (presumably, as will appear hereafter, 
because of its forced interpretations and unconscious 
obliquity] ; AND (2) that it might "tend to disturb the 
Church." This Newman has elsewhere stated, e.g., in 
a letter of 8 April, " The Bishop has but said that a 
certain Tract is * objectionable, no reason being stated " 
although, even there^he suppresses the fact that the 
" objectionableness " was based on other grounds than 
those of the possible disturbance of the Church. To 
some, a slip like this may seem a small matter ; but it 
is the straw of i-nexactness indicating a wind of con 
fident misrepresentation, which will cause future errors. 
By i April, Newman was full of hope. It was certain, 
he tells Keble, that they had " made a great step." 
But his letter to the Bishop had only that day reached 
London, and he was "anxious" about its reception 
there : " You know, I suppose, that I am to stop the 
Tracts, but you will see in the Letter, though I speak 
quite what I feel, yet I have managed to take out on 
my side my snubbing s worth. And this makes me 
anxious how it will be received in London." He does 
not think of the odium he may bring upon his Bishop. 
Characteristically enough because he looks on the 
whole affair as a mere tactical move he rejoices that 
the Bishop s singular kindness gives him an opportunity 
of saying strong Catholic things under the episcopal 
sanction : and he is even more certain that his letter is 
clever than that it is honest : 

" I am sanguine about my letter to the Bishop, which was out 
yesterday. I have spoken quite what I feel ; yet I think I have 
managed to wedge in a good many bits of Catholicism, which now 

S 2 


come out with the Bishop s sanction. How odd it is that one should 
be able to act from the heart, yet from the head too ; yet I think I 
have been honest at least I hope so t." 

It was rather hard, this, on the Bishop. Perhaps 
Newman coiild not believe that the old man really did 
consider his Tract " objectionable." Indeed, shortly 
afterwards, he could not " believe his ears " when his 
own Bishop condemned his method of interpretation 
as one that made the Articles "mean anything or 
nothing " ; and accordingly he now tells his sister that 
she may inform people "that the hubbub required the 
Bishop to do something, but that, of himself, he had no 
wish. This I believe to be the simple truth." Some 
excuse of this kind seems necessary to justify Newman s 
conduct in bringing out "bits of Catholicism " under 
"the sanction" of one who had let him off so. easily 
thereby going the very way to increase the "hubbub " 
against him. 

The worst feature in this affair is that what the letter 
to Keble avows, the letter to the Bishop disavows. To 
the Bishop, before passing to his "bits of Catholi 
cism," he uses this disavowal, " Without . . . assuming 
the soundness of the doctrines to be mentioned, or, by 
mentioning them " I italicize the words " seeking 
indirectly a sanction of them from your Lordship * 
Who can defend this ? If Newman were perfectly 
responsible for his conduct, we could only compare it 
to that of a thief who might place a stolen purse in the 
pocket of the too-kindly man who had gone bail for 
him. However, the poor Bishop, quite ignorant of all 
this strategy, replied at once having given but one 
brief day to the task of fathoming the meanings con 
cealed beneath the surface of Newman s letter of sub 
mission expressing his hope and belief that a calm had 


succeeded the threatened storm, and praising the letter 
as one calculated to soften and to silence opponents, as 
well as to regulate friends. This was on 2 April, before 
it could be known how people in London would 
take it. 

137. Newmans notions of an " understanding" 

Of course, the Tractarians in Oxford were exultant. 
They seemed to have got much the best of it. Their 
"game" now, as Newman tells Keble (i April) was 
to u let the matter drop " : 

" We have got the principle of our interpretation admitted, in that 
it has not been condemned. Do not let us provoke opposition. 
Numbers will be taking advantage silently and quietly of the admis 
sion for their own benefit. It will soon be assumed as a matter of 

To a Romanist, who (8 April) expressed surprise, and 
apparently regret, at the discontinuance of the Tracts, 
Newman replied in terms of exultation, declaring that 
his letter to his Bishop had, he trusted, " brought the 
preponderating authority of the Church " on their side. 
The Tracts, he said, though stopped, were not sup 
pressed : no doctrine or principle had been condemned 
by authority or conceded by the Tractarians : " No 
stopping of the Tracts can, humanly speaking, stop the 
spread of the opinions which they have inculcated." 
Even Pusey, besides praising Newman s " touching 
simplicity and humility," writes hopefully on the general 
prospect: " You will be glad to hear that the imme 
diate excitement about Tract 90 seems subsiding, 
although I fear (in the minds of many) into a lasting 
impression of our Jesuitism."^ 

During all this correspondence so far, there has 


been no mention of any compact, or bargain, except 
that no further condemnation of Tract 90 was to be 
expected from his own Bishop, as Newman had pro 
nounced it himself. But on 9 May he writes to Keble, 
" The Bishops are very desirous of hushing the matter 
up ; and I certainly have done my utmost to co 
operate with them, on the understanding that the Tract 
was not to be condemned." In the Apologia, he goes 
still further and actually asserts that " in not defending 
the Tract, and in closing the series " he yielded, not to 
his own Bishop, but to " the Bishops." 

What was this " understanding," and when was it 
arrived at ? It is certain that he wrote his letter 
to the Bishop without any definite arrangement 
as to the other Bishops ; for he tells us that he 
was " anxious" how the letter would be received in 
London ; and his own Bishop, in replying to it, had 
not said a word to bind the other Bishops, or 
to express more than a "hope" about peace. But 
there was one definite fear that Newman had seriously 
entertained. He had been alarmed lest the " Bishops 
as a body should condemn the Tract. * As to this, 
he may have been told informally that, in the event of 
his " publishing his own condemnation," and "stopping 
the Tracts," there was no likelihood, so far as " people 
in London " could assure him, of -any joint or sy nodical 
condemnation. This would be "a great step," because 
what he feared, was authoritative condemnation of 
doctrine ; and his theory (expressed in this very year) 
was that "as to the Bishops charges . . . they have 
no direct authority except in their own dioceses." He 
adds that only in Synod do they prescribe doctrine* 

Newman himself admits that whatever the " under 
standing" was, it was conveyed in conversation. If 


it was so distinctly and definitely in his favour, how 
was it that one so fond of " relating himself to paper " 
did not at once write down at least the substance of it ? 
How comes it also that there is no trace of it* in his 
correspondence, with his sister, or with Bowden, or 
with Keble, or with Rogers, or with anyone else ? 
Even in the Apologia, he can only give the purport 
of it with the qualification of " I think." Yet he ex 
pressly states (minimize it though he does) that he was 
warned that some of the Bishops might attack the Tract 
in separate Charges. " I think the words which had 
been used to me, were, that perhaps two or three of them 
[i.e. the Bishops] might think it necessary to say some 
thing in their Charges.". Elsewhere in the Apologia- 
under the shelter of an " if," and a "they," which means, 
sometimes the Bishops, and sometimes his unknown 
partners in conversation he entirely ignores his -own 
previous offer to withdraw the Tract : "First, if I re 
member right, they wished me to withdraw the Tract. 
This I refused to do." He declares, on the same page, 
that " they " allowed him to " continue on sale " that very 
Tract which the Bishop of Oxford had " condemned as 
objectionable " sending his condemnation, and his ex 
pression of "pain," to the author, one of his own 
clergy, who held his Bishop s lightest word ex Cathedra 
as "heavy," and who professed "unreserved and joyful 
submission " to his authority ! This is hard to believe, 
and would certainly require more evidence than New 
man s imaginative memory recalling, in the Apologia, 
events that had happened more than twenty years before. 

138. The real " understanding " 

The facts and Newman himself in his Letters is 
our best and almost our only witness to them appear 


to have been as follows. Through the kindness of 
the Bishop of Oxford who had endured a good deal 
of unpopularity, and was risking a good deal more, in 
the attempt to shelter one for whom he had a liking, 
and whom he believed to be, at least, loyal to the 
Church it was arranged that Newman should not 
withdraw Tract 90 at the episcopal bidding, as he 
had at first offered to do, and as the Bishop had 
requested him to do. But the same thing was to be 
done indirectly. Newman was to discontinue all his 
Tracts* not at the Bishop s "bidding," but at his 
"advice." Thus, no one would be able to say that 
No. 90 was withdrawn because it was doctrinally 
objectionable ; and yet it would be withdrawn. In 
return for this, the Bishop would not publicly 
say, what he believed, that Tract 90 was " objec 
tionable " (not because it " might tend to disturb 
the peace of the Church," but for other and more 
serious reasons). Newman was also not improbably 
informed that, if he took this course, and if he also 
published his own condemnation in a letter to his 
Bishop, there would be no joint or synodical condemna 
tion of his treatise ; although he was expressly warned 
that the individual action of the Bishops could not be 
fettered, and that some would take hostile action. 
With this arrangement Newman might very well be 
satisfied. The Tracts had done their work. " No 
stopping of the Tracts," he wrote to a correspondent 
(8 April), " can, humanly speaking, stop the spread of 
the opinions which they have inculcated." On the 
other hand, he gained a probable immunity from that 
joint episcopal condemnation which he dreaded as 
being absolutely fatal. For if the Bishops had 
officially combined to condemn the Tract, out of the 


Church Newman would have had to go. He could 
not stay in a Church that rejected his interpretation 
of the Articles. To avoid such an explosion as that, 
it was quite worth while to suppress a number of 
treatises which everyone who was likely to read them, 
had by this time read. 

Contrast this with the loose statement in the 
Apologia that "they" not only said they would not 
condemn the Tract, but also " let " him " continue it 
on sale " ! Where do we find in Newman s corre 
spondence the least reference to anything like this ? 
Even in the very letter quoted above, in which he 
sanguinely misrepresents to his sister his agreement 
with his Bishop, there is not a word of any " under 
standing " with the other Bishops ; he tells her he is 
"satisfied, if this is all as I suppose it will be." These 
words, of themselves, are almost incompatible with the 
existence of such an " understanding," as Newman 
mentions ; and it has been shown, above, that, a few 
days afterwards, he was very anxious as to the recep 
tion of his letter in London, and still quite doubtful 
about the result. He complains in the Apologia that 
" not a line in writing " was given to him at the time ; 
we may complain (knowing his habit of recording the 
most minute incidents) that" not a line in writing" 
has been left by him, either in note-book or letter. 
The account is incredible, as it is twice given in the 
Apologia. Yet even those two narratives concur in 
stating that Newman was warned that the Bishops, 
individually, would " charge " against the Tract : 
"they" said "they" could "not answer for what 
some individual Bishops might perhaps say about the 
Tract in their own Charges." In the account last 
quoted, it was "one or two"; now it is "some." 


Those who have studied Newman s style will know 
how to interpret the "might perhaps," the "say 
about," the " some," or the "one or two." It ought to 
be patent to all, even from the Apologia, that Newman 
was expressly warned that the individual action of the 
Bishops (not "some" of the Bishops) would (not 
"might perhaps") not be in any definite way in 
fluenced by his arrangement with his own Diocesan. 
Some, even though he quietly dropped Tract 90, 
would think it necessary to condemn it (not " say 
something about it "). Some might not. There was 
no " understanding " at all that could affect the 
individual right of the Bishops to speak or to keep 

In addition to this, the silence of the Letters is almost 
conclusive. That no such "understanding" had been 
made by 5 April is certain. For on that date he writes 
to his sister contrasting his own kind Bishop with 
"the moving powers of the Church " who "will be 
severe, the more men yield, and will shrink and give 
way, the more men threaten. We are hit because we 
are dutiful." He can only trust that " honesty is the 
best policy;" the Tractarians, he says, "are ducks in a 
pond, knocked over, but not knocked out. At least, 
so I trust." It is equally certain that the " under 
standing " did not exist on 10 April, for on that date 
he makes no mention of it in a letter to Keble, in 
which he speaks of the Bishops as fearing a secession 
to Rome, or a division within the Church. And he 
is evidently talking on mere rumour when he says, 
" I am sure" they cannot like " the Hebdomadal Act. 
We may do anything if we keep from disturbance. 
The more we can yield the better policy. We can 
gain anything by giving way." Curious, that, on 


5 April, the more they yield, the more they are " hit ;" 
and on 10 April, the more they "gain"! But it is 
worth noting as an instance of mutable excitement. 

Again, in October 1841, after many of the Bishops 
had in their diocesan Charges animadverted on the 
Tract, a correspondent, J. R. Hope, consults him on 
"the course that Catholics should follow" in conse 
quence. To him an intimate friend whom he fre 
quently consulted on legal or quasi-legal questions- 
Newman replies, as above, that such Charges " have no 
direct authority except in their own diocese : " but not a 
word about any "understanding" which the Bishops 
were breaking. His silence to Hope in the following 
November is still more convincing. He is consulting 
the latter about a protest he wishes to make against a 
proposed Jerusalem Bishopric : Bunsen, he fears, is Pro 
testantizing the English Church ; it is a great crisis ; if 
he delays to protest, things will slip through his fingers, 
and the mischief will be done : " They act," he says, 
" why may not / . . . . Why may not I be troublesome 
as well as another?" This "as well as another" is 
bathos if an "understanding" had been broken with 
him; for he had, in that case, a special right to be 
"troublesome," not "as well as," but more than, 
" another." From that date to the very conclusion of 
the Correspondence, although there are several re 
ferences to the hostile charges of the Bishops, there is 
not a single assertion that, in making them, they were 
breaking an " understanding"* 

When it was said above that Newman had left 
nothing in writing to attest the u understanding," as he 
regarded it, between himself and the Bishops, one ex 
ception might perhaps have been made. He thought 
it worth while to preserve, and the Editor of the 


Letters consequently thought it worth while to print 
a lithographed circular dated 27 April, in which the 
Bishop of Bath and Wells "hears with surprise and 
concern " that some of his clergy propose an " inter 
ference with reference to the (so-called) Oxford 
Tracts," and asks to be allowed to observe that it 
would be "more correct and judicious" for them "to 
leave the important questions now in discussion at 
Oxford, to the decision of the Heads of Houses and 
to the Bishop of that Diocese." This is just the sort 
of evidence that would convince Newman that "the 
Bishops are very desirous of hushing the matter up." 
The circular is probably indebted for its rescue from 
oblivion after fifty years to the fact that, in the absence 
of any other documentary evidence, and in the vague 
ness of his recollections about what he " thought " to 
be the words of the " understanding," he treasured up 
the only scrap of paper that presented anything that 
approximated to an excuse for his groundless and dis 
appointed expectations. 

139. Who broke the " understanding" ? 

But now suppose there had been an " understand 
ing." That implies two sides, and an engagement on 
each. What was Newman s engagement ? and how 
might that be understood by the other side? In his 
letter to his Bishop he gives it as follows : 

"Your Lordship s message is as follows: That you consider the 
Tract No. 90 in the Series called the Tracts for the Times, is objec 
tionable, and may tend to disturb the peace or tranquillity of the 
Church, and that it is your Lordship s advice that the Tracts for 
the Times be discontinued . . . . Accordingly, on the late occasion, 
as soon as I heard that you had expressed an unfavourable opinion 


of Tract 90, I again placed myself at your disposal, and now readily 
submit to the course on which your Lordship has finally decided in 
consequence of it." 

First for a short comment on the last sentence in 
this extract. Who would guess from " placed myself 
at your disposal " that Newman had first made an offer 
to his Bishop ; then withdrawn it ; then threatened to 
resign his living if some compromise were not made ; 
and was now publishing" this letter of " ready submis 
sion," very " unwillingly " ? Yet, that it was "unwill 
ingly," in a sense, appears from a letter to Manning. 
" I published that letter to him [i.e. the Bishop] (how 
unwillingly you know) on the understanding that /was 
to deliver his judgment on No. 90 instead of him ; " 
and again, " You know how unwillingly I wrote my 
letter to the Bishop in which I committed myself 
again " [i.e. by attacking the Church of Rome] " as the 
safest course under the circumstances." But this is 
only one of many inconsistencies. The question before 
us now is, What was "the course" on which the 
Bishop " finally decided " and to which Newman 
16 readily submitted " ? To this, then, we return. 

" Accordingly . . again," in the extract above quoted, 
refer to preceding words showing how Newman 
previously (in 1838) "submitted the Tracts entirely" 
to the Bishop s proposal. He had then offered to 
withdraw any that were under his control ; and de 
clared that he could feel a more lively pleasure in such 
a submission to the Bishop "than in the widest circu 
lation of the volume in question." This points to the 
conclusion that now, when he "again placed " himself 
at the Bishop s "disposal," the "discontinuance" of 
the Tracts in the present offer, was to be like the 
" entire submission " of the Tracts in the first offer. 


That the Bishop would interpret it in this sense seems 
certain. How could he suppose that one who held the 
high Ignatian views about the deference due to episcopal 
authority, would profess to make a " ready submission " 
to him, and yet reprint a treatise which had caused him 
" pain," and which he had pronounced "objectionable " ? 
His view of the matter he might have expressed to 
Newman in some such words as these : " You offered 
to suppress Tract 90. I wished you to do so. You 
drew back. I then suggested that you should say you 
suppressed it at my bidding. You still declined, 
unless, at the same time, you resigned your living. To 
save your conscience, I would not order you officially 
to suppress this particular Tract, but advised you to 
discontinue the Tracts, understanding that Tract 90, 
with the rest, would fall quietly out of circulation" 

That this interpretation was commonly put upon the 
words by the public appears from the Apologia : 
" Many were the publications of the day and the 
private letters which accused me of shuffling because 
I closed the Series of Tracts, yet kept the Tracts on 
sale, as if I ought to comply, not only with what my 
Bishop asked, but with what he did not ask and 
perhaps did not wish." " Perhaps " like " if" is " a 
great peace-maker." But even the " perhaps " can 
hardly serve here to avert the charge of inaccuracy. 
We know that the Bishop did wish him to suppress 
Tract 90 ; for he had actually asked Newman, in 
private, to do it, and the latter had, upon re-considera 
tion, declined. The Bishop had also pronounced the 
Tract "objectionable," and had advised Newman to 
" discontinue the Tracts." Putting all these facts 
together, how can we doubt that the Bishop " wished " 
that No. 90 should quietly drop out of circulation, and 


that, by way of saving Newman s scruples, it should be 
withdrawn, not by itself, but in company with the other 
Tracts ? This Newman too ought to have known, 
and even his "perhaps" will hardly justify his con 
jecture about the Bishop s "wish." 

There is good reason for thinking that, at first, 
Newman himself took the view that he was pledged to 
" cease to reprint " the old Tracts. Writing on 7 April, 
eight days after the " bargain " had been settled * to his 
satisfaction, he says : " No stopping of the Tracts can, 
humanly speaking, stop the spread of the opinions 
which they have inculcated." If "the Tracts " were still 
to be sold, would not the opinions which they had incul 
cated, be still inculcated as before, and does not that 
reduce the sentence to nonsense ? It has been suggested 
to me that the words, " no stopping of the Tracts," 
may refer to somefuture suppression of them. But this, 
besides being far-fetched, is rendered improbable by a 
letter written on i April : " You know, I suppose, that I 
am to stop the Tracts." The natural meaning, therefore, 
of the letter of 7 April quoted above, appears to be this, 
" I am to stop the reprinting of all the Tracts that are 
under my control, including Tract 90 : but, as they have 
done their work, it matters little : the stopping of their 
circulation now, cannot, humanly speaking, stop the spread 
of the opinions which they have inculcated." I do not say 
this is certain, but it is certainly the most obvious inter 
pretation.^ And it is confirmed by the fact that, on the 
very day on which Newman published his letter to his 
Bishop condemning his own Tract, he also published a 
new edition of the latter his object (apparently) being to 
do at once, what afterwards he would feel precluded from 
doing. As soon as the Letter was out, he had no right 
to print any more Tracts ; he was to discontinue them 


all ; but he conceived he had a right to sell off those 
that were already printed.^ 

vj 140. Newman is "quite satisfied with the bargain" 

In weighing the evidence for and against the truth 
of Newman s attack upon the Bishops,* we must 
recollect that we are hearing only one side. We hear 
their opponent attacking them, twenty years after the 
event ; and our only appeal from that evidence is to 
other evidence, still their opponent s, but uttered at the 
time. What is the former ? It is a loose, vague charge 
brought against their whole body with "might," and 
perhaps," and "they," and "I think," and "one or 
two," or " some," all suggesting the writer s uncer 
tainty that they had pledged themselves not to 
charge against the Tract. 

On the other side, as regards the supposed episcopal 
undertaking, there is in the first place the strong a 
priori improbability that the Bishops would so commit 
themselves, as well as Newman s own admission in the 
Apologia that he had been warned that some "might" 
(he says "might") charge against the Tract. There 
is also the fact that his own Bishop, of whom Newman 
speaks in terms of the highest respect, did condemn 
the Tract, and that, more than once, and severely. 
Again, Newman s letters, written at the time, while 
silent as to the existence of any such understanding, 
show an anxiety and a distrust just at the time when 
the compact would have been made, if made at all 
which are incompatible with its existence ; and the 
correspondence covers the ground so completely, from 
day to day, during the critical period after the publi 
cation of No. 90, that if there were any such under- 


standing as Newman speaks of, it seems impossible 
that we should not find some trace of it. To this we 
must add the fact that an informal assurance on the 
part of the Bishop of Oxford as to the improbability of 
any joint episcopal condemnation (in the event of 
Newman s publishing the suggested self-condemnation) 
would, so to speak, "save the phenomena." That is 
not a priori unlikely ; and it is quite characteristic of 
Newman s sanguineness that he should construe a 
statement (supported, perhaps, by extracts from letters) 
that the Bishops would do nothing jointly, into a 
definite promise that they would do nothing at all. 
Lastly, those who deem it improbable that the English 
Bishops should have combined to do what, as English 
gentlemen, they ought (if we accept Newman s story) 
to have been ashamed of doing, will let this improb 
ability weigh for something in the scale. 

Again, as to Newman s part in the engagement 
which he made with his Bishop, we have, fortunately, 
the very words of the bargain before us, and can see 
how a misunderstanding may have arisen. We have 
also before us the two partners to the compromise or 
as Newman called it, the " bargain "-one, as the 
Apologia tells us, " of noble mind, and as kind-hearted 
and considerate as he was noble," who always 
sympathized with Newman in the trials that befell 
him ; the other, a man who could not help taking an 
ultra-legal view of any document on which anything 
religious directly or indirectly depended, and who, just 
now, with his back to the wall, was fighting, so to 
speak, for his Anglican existence, for his right, and the 
right of his followers, to remain in the Church of their 

For, however much we may think Newman in the 



wrong, we are still bound to make some attempt to 
place ourselves in his position. He was contending for 
a great cause, as he conceived it, the cause of Catholic 
Truth, as well as the real interests of the English 
Church. He could not afford, therefore nay, it was 
not right to throw away any advantage that 
Providence might put in his way. He regarded 
his agreement with his Bishop as a " bargain. " 
He made it " unwillingly " at first. He may have con 
ceived himself bound to stop all the Tracts, old 
and new, as soon, at all events, as the present 
stock was sold off. But when he came to examine 
the terms of the Episcopal message, he found that 
the Bishop s desire to avoid the use of any harsh, 
or even authoritative word had left him a kind of 
providential loop-hole by which he might escape from 
doing an injury to the cause, and might turn what looked 
like a defeat into a victory. He was not to " withdraw," 
nor to " suppress," the Tracts (including No. 90), he 
was merely to " discontinue " them. This, he argued, 
(and, it must be owned, he had the letter on his side) 
clearly meant that he was to discontinue, not the sale 
of the Tracts, but the Tracts themselves^ that is, the 
Tracts, regarded as a series. This being so, he might 
reprint the Tracts already printed. True, Tract 90 
caused his Bishop "pain" ; and it was awkward for 
him to continue to circulate a Tract which his diocesan 
had pronounced " objectionable." But he had got over 
this difficulty by publishing a second edition of it with 
additions and qualifications designed to meet objections. 
Having thus freshly republished the Tract, and 
published a defence as well and this on the very day 
on which he published a " condemnation " of it in his 
Bishop s name he could afford, for the future, or at all 


events for some time, to leave Tract 90 alone. Thus, 
he had withdrawn nothing and seemed to have gained 
everything. To be sure he had bound himself to 
publish no more Tracts. But what did that matter ? 
New Tracts could be published as before, only not under 
his editorship, but in the shape of larger treatises, with 
the names or initials of the authors (like Pusey s Tract 
on Baptism). As for the Tracts that had led up to 
the outcry they would be sold just as much as before, 
or more. 

On the other side, what had he gained ? He had 
asserted for Romanizers a place in the Anglican 
Church. He had captured for them, so to speak, a 
position within the entrenchments of the Articles them 
selves. Numbers, he said to himself, would soon be 
taking a silent and quiet advantage of this victory. 
The Bishop of Oxford, under whose sanction he had 
now brought out so many strong " Catholic" sayings, 
would henceforth be regarded as the champion of 
Rome on the English Episcopal Bench. The other 
Bishops, he sanguinely imagined, had bound them 
selves by an "understanding" to connive in the 
Tractarian advance. Even Pusey, who had been 
against the Tract, took the following, equally sanguine 
view : " The pseudo-traditionary and vague ultra- 
Protestant interpretation of the Articles, has received 
a blow from which it will not recover. People will abuse 
Tract 90 and adopt its main principles." Under these 
circumstances we cannot be surprised that Newman 
was " satisfied with the bargain." The cannon, it 
seemed, had been "proved," and the metal had not 
burst. Nay, more, besides avoiding calamity, the 
Leader had dexterously improved his position beyond 
his amplest expectations. How natural for him, under 

T 2 

2 7 6 


such circumstances, with all the just complacency of a 
skilful general who has over-reached and out-flanked 
his enemy, to write (i April) that he is " sanguine, 
and that it is their "game " to " let the matter drop at 
present," and, " I do really think that things had better 
be quiet," and, " We are all in good spirits here " ! But 
how natural for us, wise after the lapse of half a century, 
to reflect on the great importance that Newman attached 
to small coincidences, and to wonder whether, in after 
days, he looked back upon, and took note of, the 
particular day of April on which he committed this 
dream to paper ! 



141. " Simplicity " ? or ^Jesuitism " ? 

A FEW weeks sufficed to show that Newman s dream 
of the first of April had not been realised. The Bishops 
were not quite so incredibly silly, or timorous, or blind 
to their duty, as he had supposed ; and, if they had 
been, the voice of the people would soon have enlight 
ened and quickened them. Tract 90 was one of 
Newman s controversial " blows in the stomach." The 
public was staggered by it for the moment. Presently 
they began to breathe again and to act as Englishmen 
naturally would under the circumstances. In part the 
Tractarians themselves, by their subsequent conduct, 
increased the rising indignation. If Newman could 
only have persuaded them indeed that their "game" 
was to "drop the matter for the present," the Bishops 
might have been quiet ; the popular outcry might have 
subsided ; the clergy might have quietly adopted the 
Newmanian interpretation of the Articles, and the 
whole of the National Church might have been 
speedily, yet unobtrusively, permeated with a Roman 
spirit which, nominally Anglican, would have effectually 
promoted the return of a large section of the 


Anglicans in the upper classes into the pale of the 
" Catholic " Church. 

But, besides being unable to restrain the audacity of 
his followers, Newman himself had been too audacious 
for success. His "touching simplicity and humility" 
had been extolled by Pusey ; but when men came to 
look beneath the surface of it, what did they find ? His 
letter of submission had proclaimed his humble readi 
ness to give an unreserved and cheerful obedience to 
his Bishop. The latter had declared Tract 90 to be, 
in the Bishop s words, "objectionable." Yet on the 
same day that Newman published the letter, he 
republished the Tract! Vvhat kind of "humility" 
was this ? Again, the Bishop, as well as Pusey, had 
been troubled by Newman s leaving the Invocation of 
Saints an open question. The Tract had, in fact, 
implied that Invocation was not condemned by the 
Thirty-nine Articles. In his letter to the Bishop, how 
had he withdrawn, or explained, this doctrine ? Thus : 
"The holier the man, the less likely are they" [i.e. 
such Invocations] "to be injurious to him." This 
indeed was a " touching simplicity : " to suppose that 
the clergy were likely to be deterred from Invocation 
of Saints by having it held up to them as a practice 
that called for superior holiness ! Was it not also 
" simple " to suppose that the laity and the Bishops 
would be satisfied with such a shelving of the Article, 
and this in a letter in which Newman agreed to 
" publish his own condemnation " ? 

It was this combination of " touching simplicity and 
humility" with continuous and dexterous encroachment, 
this art of conceding without making concessions that 
angered some of his opponents even more than his 
original offence. The Apologia gives us no notion of 


this. It describes his tone, at this time, as being that 
of an imperious Reformer : "I would not hold office in 
a Church which would not allow my sense of the 
Articles. My tone was, This is necessary for us, and 
have it we must and will, and, if it tends to bring men 
to look less bitterly on the Church of Rome the better. 
Certainly this is not the "tone" of the letters to the 
Bishop of Oxford and to Dr. Jelf. A little of this 
imperiousness would have been refreshing in those 
documents; their " simplicity " and their "humility" 
produce the opposite effect. A still more objectionable 
feature in the letter to his -Bishop is, that, so far from 
"leading men to look less bitterly on the Church of 
Rome," he attacks the Roman Church in language 
which (if we have regard to his inmost feelings at this 

V O O 

time) must be pronounced inexcusable. It is true, he 
soothes his conscience by quoting previous attacks that 
he had made against Rome ; but still he himself admits 
that, by being quoted they are " made a second time" 
his own ; and Dean Church * actually refers to this letter 
(and seemingly to these quotations) as a proof that the 
writer was, at this time, at heart an Anglican ! The 
best extenuation of this very serious offence, New 
man s nearest approach to deliberate insincerity is 
that he subsequently repented of these attacks, and, 
even at the time, committed himself to them with such 
misgiving that he afterwards described himself as 
writing them " unwillingly." 

His letter to Dr. Jelf in explanation of Tract 90, 
besides exasperating opponents, drove the most logical, 
and one of the most straightforward, of his friends, into 
print, for the purpose of making clear what Newman 
left obscure. In it, Newman attempted to vindicate 
himself from the charge of maintaining the compati- 


bility of the Articles with the authoritative teaching 
of Rome on the points specified : 

" I only say that, whereas they were written before the decrees of 
Trent, they were not directed against those decrees. The Church of 
Rome taught authoritatively before those decrees as well as since. 
Those decrees expressed her authoritative teaching, and they will 
continue to express it while she so teaches. The simple question is 
whether taken by themselves in their mere letter, they express it ; 
whether in fact other senses short of the sense conveyed in the 
present authoritative teaching of the Roman Church will not fulfil 
their letter, and may not even now in point of fact be held in that 

To these distinctions and qualifications, Ward s bio 
grapher justly attaches the epithet " subtle," adding 
that they eventually led Ward to enter the field, and 
to attempt " to absolutely clear what Mr. Newman 
preferred to leave to some extent undefined." 

142 Ward makes things " absolutely clear" 

Hence, indirectly, arose calamity on calamity for the 
Tractarians. The storm had broken out in March. 
Ward rushed to his leader s defence in April and the 
following mo.iths ; and, spite of the best intentions, 
did everything possible to rouse the storm again. 
Leaving Pusey far in the rear, he went beyond even 
Newman s ostensible position. Yet Newman did not, 
and could riot, disown him ; for he had consulted his 
leader at every step. He professed himself ready to 
" give up " I do not understand how a man can " give 
up" by saying he gives up," but that was his affair ; 
at all events Ward was ready to " give up " " any 
theological opinion he was inclined to," if he " knew 
Newman to differ from it." Rebuked by Pusey for 


causing a schism and scandal in the Party, Ward had 
an unanswerable reply : Newman had told him, said 
Ward, that he did not know a single sentiment in 
Ward s pamphlet " in which he did not altogether 


Yet the differences between the leader and his 
champion were apparently great. The former had left 
it open whether the Reformers were Catholic or not ; 
the latter maintained that they were non-Catholic, and 
that this avowal was necessary for the Tractarian 
position. The leader had maintained that, though 
there were " real difficulties " to Catholics in remaining 
Anglicans, the Articles were M not among these " ; his 
defender affirmed that the Articles were a real diffi 
culty but not an insurmountable one. Newman had 
offered to withdraw the term "ambiguous formularies " 
applied to the Articles ; Ward placed his whole trust 
in this term. The author of Tract 90 was for signing 
the Articles in " their literal and grammatical sense," 
the author of " A Few Words in defence of Tract 90 " 
would subscribe them only in a " non-natural sense." 

Here were differences, perplexing, at the best ; but 
almost scandalous when it was found that many of 
Newman s friends, as well as his enemies, regarded 
Ward s " Few Words," and " Few Words More," as 
only a plain and open avowal of opinions which the 
Chief of the Tractarians to quote Ward s biographer 
" either from the difficulty of his position, or, as 
some said, from the over-subtlety of his mind, declined 
to state expressly." 

Is it surprising that, when friends took this view, 
some of his opponents who did not know him, took 
one still more unfavourable ? And as for the great 
mass of English Protestants, who viewed everything 


through a mist of exaggerations, was it not inevitable 
that they should realise Pusey s own fear, and receive 
" a lasting impression of the Jesuitism " of all the Tract- 
arians in general, and of Newman, in particular, as the 
Arch-Jesuit ? The mouth was the mouth of Ward, 
but Ward was everywhere in Oxford proclaiming that 
the mind was the mind of Newman. He had written 
nothing, he said, without his leader s sanction. Here 
then was the author of Tract 90, nominally silent in 
deference to his Bishop, but practically defending, not 
merely the Tract, but an ultra- Roman version of it. 

To such a point of Romanism had Ward reached 
that, in July, Pusey demanded from him a pledge that 
he would not join the Church of Rome ; and Ward 
refused to give it. To Anglicans the demand for such 
a pledge may seem immoral ; for it amounts to asking 
a man not to do what his conscience bids him do. But 
to Tractarians it did not seem immoral ; and for a 
Tractarian to refuse such a pledge was a serious thing. 
If then such a demand could be made by such a theo 
logian as Pusey from one who had merely expressed 
Newman s opinions with Newman s sanction only in 
a straightforward way why might it not be demanded 
by the outside world from Newman also ? and, if Ward 
refused to give it, why might not English Protestantism 
assume that Newman too, if pressed, would make the 
same refusal ? 

As if to commit the Tractarians still further, a 
Romanizing manifesto from the advanced section had 
been published on the Continent. Scarcely had New 
man s letter of submission to the Bishop passed through 
the press when there appeared first printed in the 
Univers and then circulated in Catholic Germany and 
Italy -an anonymous letter declaring that the presenti- 


ment that the "afflicted" Church of England would 
soon be united to their Catholic brethren was amply 
justified by what was " now passing in the University 
of Oxford, the heart of the Anglican Church." "The 
author of the Tract," so ran the letter, " looks upon the 
Thirty-nine Articles as a burden which God in His 
anger has placed upon us for the sins of our ancestors " ; 
the Tractarians, " love with unfeigned affection the 
Apostolic see which" they "acknowledge to be the 
head of Christendom." The existence of the Church 
of England was described as " three centuries of schism 
and of heresy." This manifesto was dated from Oxford 
and professed to be written by a follower of Newman. 

In the correspondence of the Univers there soon 
appeared an expression (from a well-known Tractarian 
of moderate views) of disbelief in its genuineness. It 
was written, said the correspondent, by an enemy ; 
Newman did not wish re-union until Rome had greatly 
changed, and unless she renounced the doctrine of 
Papal supremacy. In reply, the writer had no diffi 
culty in proving that he was what he professed to be ; 
and his sentiments were not disclaimed by Newman or 
by any member of the advanced party. Thus, even on 
the Continent, men were being led to the conclusion 
that the Tract which had been condemned by the 
Bishop of Oxford, and as to which the author had 
professed to make a cheerful and unreserved submission 
in the letter in which he published his own self-con 
demnation so far from being quietly dropped, was 
being pressed and emphasized by the author s followers 
and with the author s sanction, as being an under 
statement, not over-statement, of their tendencies to 

Of course, it may be said that Newman was not 


responsible for this. When he wrote the letter of 
submission" to his Bishop he virtually says the 
Apologia gave up his place as leader of the Move 
ment. Even if that were true, the public could not be 
expected to make nice distinctions between a leader 
and his followers, when the latter claimed to be his 
interpreters, and, besides not being publicly disavowed, 
were privately recognized and sanctioned. But the 
Apologia does not represent the facts. Newman did 
not ostensibly continue to lead, but he led in reality 
at all events for some months after the correspond 
ence in the Univers. Nothing passed in Oxford among 
the young Tractarians without his knowledge : " Every 
one I know" he writes to his sister, 16 November, 
1841 "tells me everything about himself; and there 
is nothing done, said, or written but what in some way 
or other I see (though I do not mean to make myself 
responsible for everything). 

143. " Hoist with his own petard" 

All this happened before, or during, July ; and up to 
that time the Bishops had not begun in any numbers 
to charge against the Tract. But from July onwards 
they repeatedly attacked it. The only Bishop who, if 
anyone, was to blame for this, was the only one whom 
Newman exempts from blame the Bishop of Oxford ; 
who certainly had some kind of " understanding " with 
Newman, viz., that the latter was to pronounce his 
own condemnation so as to spare him the pain of 
publicly condemning. Yet he also, in two charges, 
censured the Tract with great severity. On reviewing 
Newman s letter and subsequent conduct, he must 
have soon perceived that the " understanding," in his 



view of it, had not been fairly carried out. The letter 
contained no real self-condemnation ; and while dis 
claiming any desire to procure episcopal sanction for 
what were called distinctive Tractarian doctrines, it 
practically circulated them under his authority. The 
Tract which he had pronounced "objectionable" was 
still circulated in his diocese ; and the other tracts had 
not been " discontinued " in accordance with his 
"advice" as he interpreted it. Lastly Tract 90 was 
being defended in Oxford by one of Newman s 
followers, and, as was publicly avowed, with Newman s 
sanction, upon grounds which increased the scandal 
that it had already caused. A similar defence was 
being circulated on the Continent. 

These, if they were the Bishop s reasons, were ample 
and sufficient reasons. Yet Newman while praising 
him as an honourable man and revering his memory as 
if he were a truthful one imputes to him the incredible 
weakness of doing what he did, at the bidding of great 
people in London, and the still more incredible perfidy 
of condemning his Tract three times, and each time 
with increasing severity, not because he felt what he 
said, but because other people felt it ! It is a terrible 
warning to us how far we may allow mere intellectual 
demoralization to creep almost into our hearts and to 
affect our moral judgments, when we find such a one 
as Newman first, in his letters, assigning to himself 
the part of an Autolycus, who has cheated the English 
Bishops into making a silly and immoral bargain ; and 
then, in the Apologia, by contrast, holding up the 
Episcopal Bench to perpetual infamy as a set of 
treacherous swindlers who have broken faith with his 
confiding self while he excepts from the charge that 
one Bishop above all, who, on Newman s own show- 


ing, did break a compact, and excepts him on the 
ground that, although he broke it, it was not because 
he thought ill of Tract 90, but because he wanted to 
yield to his brother Bishops, to "soothe" the London 
clergy, and to still the " popular hubbub " ! 

If the Bishop of Oxford was severe, it may well be 
imagined that some of the other Bishops were more 
than severe. Newman s followers were within their 
right in complaining of exaggerations, distortions, and 
the other inevitable results of panic and suspicion, 
wherever such manifestations occurred in the con 
demnations pronounced by Bishops, clergy, or laity. 
But what else was to be expected by a leader who had 
gone, from the first, on a principle of "startling" 
people ; of saying extreme things in order to lead 
people on to the mean ; of hitting enemies controver 
sial blows in the face and the stomach so as to " take 
their breath away " ; and who had at last crowned his 
aggressions by an attempt (so it seemed to plain people) 
to undermine the Anglican Church ? " In every part 
of the country," he complains in the Apologia, "and 
every class of society, through every organ and oppor 
tunity of opinion, in newspaper, in periodical, at 
meetings, in pulpits, at dinner tables, in coffee-rooms, 
in railway carriages, I was denounced as a traitor who 
had laid his train and was detected in the very act of 
firing it against the time-honoured Establishment." 
Why not ? What else was to be expected ? 

We need but quote the Tractarians themselves to 
show the reasonableness of this popular outburst. 
In the first place, the Leader himself had predicted 
the danger of his task. It was like " proving " cannon 
he had said. Well, people who do that sort of thing 
are prepared for inconvenient explosions. Again, the 


Oxford Heads had pronounced his interpretation of 
the Articles to be an " evasion : " but had not his pupil 
Ward justified such an imputation against his teacher 
when, with his sanction, he interpreted them in a sense 
which the interpreter himself afterwards boldly called 
"non-natural"? Did not Pusey clearly imply that 
common people were not altogether to blame if, as the 
result of Tract 90, they formed a lasting impression of 
the Tractarian "Jesuitism " ? And would not such an 
"impression" have been deepened if the English 
people had been able to read some of the Tractarian 
correspondence ? Newman, had, some time ago, pro 
posed to remain in the English Church, believing it to 
be corrupt and bound to be " under penance," with the 
view of " promoting its return " to a system not clearly 
distinguishable from Romanism. Ward, almost in this 
very year (perceiving objections " to an immediate union 
with St. Peter s See ") described himself as impressed 
with " the great importance (if it be lawful) of remaining " 
in his present position " with the hope of 4 poisoning as 
many as possible." Might not such expressions as 
these seem well to justify the popular impression of 
" Jesuitism " ? 

In Newman s enterprise we seem to have before us 
a general mining a besieged city. He had himself 
devised, planned, and executed the mine on his own 
responsibility, against the wish of some of his more 
cautious colleagues. It fails. For the failure, we do 
not blame him at all ; for the attempt, not much. But 
what we do, and must, blame, is the extraordinary 
inaccuracy, and self-partiality, the blindness to fact, or 
at least to any fact that does not tell in his own favour, 
the want of honourable consideration for those who have 
dealt honourably with him, the weak, unfair, and almost 


childish querulousness with which, finding himself 
defeated, he rails at and slanders the defenders of the 
beleaguered place ; urging that he had made an 
" understanding " with them that he was allowed, 
while waving a flag of truce, to direct the mining 
operations through his officers without let or hindrance, 
and that they, in the meantime, were to look on quietly 
and do nothing ; and yet, in spite of it all, they broke 
their word and would persist in counter-mining him, 
with the result that the assailant was "hoist with his 
own petard" ! 

144. The three blows 

"The ghost had come a second time," says the 
Apologia, describing what happened in the Long 
Vacation of 1841. It was not surprising. In the first 
place, he was alone with his books, engaged in abstruse 
theological reading. In the next place, he had sinned 
against Rome ; and of course her " ghost " would haunt 
him. In a letter of 1843, he declared that, since the 
summer of 1839, that is, since the first appearance of 
" the ghost," he had abstained generally from attack 
ing her, having written little or nothing in modern 
controversy except the article on the Catholicity of the 
English Church. But he had not been justified in 
writing even that. And he had aggravated his offence 
by quoting freely from it in the following year in his 
letter to his Bishop. True, he extenuates the latter 
fault by saying that he "committed himself, again," 
very "unwillingly," as being "the safest course," 
But that is, at best, an extenuation. It admits the 

He had written against Rome with the object of 
setting to sleep people who suspected him of Roman- 


izing ; and for two years he had more than suspected 
himself. If this was "painful" to him in 1840 as he 
told Keble it was when he had only sinned once in this 
way it must have been more painful to him now, 
after he had repeated the sin. In the Apologia^ de 
scribing his feelings in the spring of 1841 about the 
"ghost" of 1839, he declares that, at that time, the 
"thoughts" which "had profoundly troubled" him 
"had gone." An astonishing lapse of memory! A 
delusion, shown to be a delusion by the correspondence 
quoted above ; which proves that, almost continuously 
since September 1839, the shadow of Rome had 
darkened his inmost thoughts. During the spring and 
early summer of 1841 he was in communication with 
Romanists on the subject of union, and the correspond 
ence indicates that his chief reason for remaining in 
the Anglican Church was the " horror of the principle 
of private judgment." " That my sympathies" he says, 
" have grown towards the religion of Rome, I do not 
deny ; that my reasons for shunning her communion 
have lessened or altered," let the reader note the 
caution of the following words " it would be difficult, 
perhaps, to prove. And I wish to go by reason, not 
by feeling." 

This reveals the struggle going on within his mind ; 
a struggle in which we know, though he did not, how 
unequally matched were the contending forces. The 
excitement that immediately followed the publication 
of Tract 90 could not but lift the cloud for a while ; 
but as soon as he found himself alone, it was sure to 
return, darker than ever. It came while he was re 
viewing the Arian history, which he was supposed to 
know already, having written a book about it. "I had 
not observed it," he says, "in 1832. Wonderful that 

VOL. ii u 

2 9 


this should come upon me ! I had not sought it out ! " 
No more had Brutus " sought out " the ghost of Caesar 
before Philippi. But he had struck that " most un- 
kindest cut of all " at Caesar ; and Caesar appeared. 
Just so, in 1840, spite of Froude s protest from his 
death-bed, and spite of the "ghost" and " omen " of 
1839 Newman had used what he himself called 
" savage and ungrateful words" against Rome. These 
he had repeated in 1841. Twice, sinning against his 
conscience, he had smitten with sacrilegious hand, the 
Church of St. Athanasius and St. Leo. What more 
natural than that her majestical " ghost " should appear 
to him again ? 

Henceforth, more convinced than ever that " Rome 
will be found right after all," he is at his wits end to 
find reasons to deter himself and those most in sym 
pathy with him from taking what would seem the 
right, natural, and honest step, of joining the only true 
Church. Besides the argument that individuals must 
not quit their religion except when led by a miracle,* he 
urges on another correspondent a lady who longs for 
a monastic life in the Church of Rome what amounts 
to this, that such a life, and such a Church, are too 
good for her : "Who are you to covet, with James and 
John, the right and left of your Lord s throne ? Know 
your place. Be humbled, be content to pick up the 
crumbs even, under the King s table." 

In this attitude of suspense, looking always for some 
external "sign " to teach him the will of God, he oscil 
lated, with every breath of circumstance, between 
hopes and fears for his evanescent Tractarianism. At 
one time he comforts Keble because possibly Sir 
Robert Peel will be giving preferment to some of their 
party ; at another, he is cast down because an episcopal 


charge has attacked Tract 90 ; or because a Bishop of 
Jerusalem is to be consecrated on such terms as to 
commit the English Church to the recognition of Pro 
testant Churches abroad. This last affair he describes 
as " fearful," " hideous," " atrocious," and as one of 
" three blows " that eventually drove him from the 
Church of England ; the other two blows being the 
appearance of the "ghost" and the series of hostile 
episcopal charges. The last of these " three blows," 
he tells us, he "recognized as a condemnation; it 
was the only one in their power." Short of a formal 
synodical condemnation, it was indeed the only one in 
their power. Ought he not then to have accepted it 
as a "sign" even without the Jerusalem Bishopric 
that the Church of England had rejected his " infusion 
of Catholic Truth " ? His " tone " about Tract 90, he 
tells us, had been this : "I would not hold office in 
a Church which would not allow my sense of the 
Articles." Well, the Church had shown that she 
would not allow it. Why then did he continue to 
"hold office" ? 

The answer appears to be, that he could not bear 
at once to give up the hope of doing something 
effectual to unite the Church of England to Catholicity. 
Partly too, perhaps, he revolted, now and then, with a 
touch of obstinacy, from the appeals of those more 
logical Tractarians who pressed upon him conclusions 
that seemed to follow naturally from his premises. He 
let them reason as they would ; but when it came to 
action, he made a stand. And then, of course, there 
was the immense terror of following " private judg 
ment"; and the fear of wilfulness ; and the reluctance 
to believe that his grand schemes had failed ; that his 
glorious and (as he thought) heaven-prompted enter- 

U 2 


prise had led him and his followers into a defile where 
fighting and flying were alike impossible, so that there 
was nothing for it but to surrender at discretion. 
Hence, in the autumn, we find him emphasizing the 
fact that the condemnations even of all the Bishops 
have no authority except in their own dioceses, for 
they had not met " in Synod ; " and " only in Synod do 
they prescribe doctrine." About the same time, he is 
corresponding with Romanists, pointing out that, if the 
Tractarians joined Rome " one by one," there would 
be no chance of the removal of any corruptions of 
Roman practice; but that, "if our Church were pre 
pared for a union, she might make her terms ; she 
might gain the cup ; she might protest against the 
extreme honour paid to St. Mary ; she might make 
some explanation of the doctrine of Transubstantia- 
tion." At this distance of time, it is difficult to realise 
this sanguine exaggeration of the numbers of the 
Tractarians who were disposed to go to the same 
length as their leader, and, still more, this innocent 
hope that Rome would ever buy converts by making 
public and substantial concessions. But realised they 
must be, if we are to understand why Newman still 
lingered on within the Anglican pale, long after he had 
received " the three blows which broke " him. 



145. Drawing the vanguard back 

CONSISTENCY of expression is hardly to be looked for 
in one who regulates his conduct by external " signs," 
and thinks it almost profane to have a plan. Panic- 
stricken, for example, at the proposed Jerusalem 
Bishopric, he writes to Bowden (10 Oct.), "If any such 
event should take place, I shall not be able to keep a 
single man from Rome. They will be all trooping off 
sooner or later." On that same day the Bishop was 
consecrated ; but three weeks afterwards, Newman sees 
" no sign at all of any immediate move." For the 
most part, however, he seems now to have adopted the 
latter conviction that years might elapse before any 
secession took place ; that then they must move en 
masse, if at all ; but that at present it was their duty to 
wait ; and that the only way to keep in the English 
Church was " steadily to contemplate and act upon the 
possibility of leaving it." 

Sometimes, however, even in the same letter, he 
suggests two opposite policies, as for example to Church 
(Christmas 1841) who had forwarded to him some 
questions from a Moderate Tractarian as to the right 
course in certain contingencies. He begins cheerfully 


with the hope that, as the clergy are improving, they 
may reasonably defer the consideration of these diffi 
culties. Then comes a postscript, to the effect that 
they cannot be sure that the Bishops will not be 
drawing up some stringent declarations of faith, and 
ending, " Am not I shilly-shally ? " Next day, he 
writes that he has been " dreaming " about the matter 
all night, and ought not Church s correspondent to 
see that "it is unwise, unfair, and impatient, to ask 
others, what will you do under circumstances which 
have not, which may never, come ? Why bring fear, 
suspicion, and dissension into a camp about things 
which are merely in posse ? " such questions, he says, 
do harm ; there are things which he " neither con 
templates nor wishes to contemplate ; but when he is 
asked about them ten times, at length he begins to 
contemplate them." Very sensible advice, this, and 
worthy of a good general. But how unlike that recent 
order in which he instructed his followers that " the 
very best way to keep in the Church of England was 
steadily to contemplate, and act upon, the possibility of 
leaving it " ! 

In the very same letter in which he thus blends a 
prophecy of evil with an injunction not to anticipate 
evil, he encourages the clergy of a certain diocese to 
"denounce the heresy of their diocesan;" so as to 
" do their duty " and relieve themselves "of the share 
they will otherwise have in any possible defections of 
their brethren." He is also inciting Keble not only to 
circulate a protest against the episcopal rejection of a 
curate of his who was candidate for Priest s orders, but 
also to appeal to Sir Herbert Jenner against his 
diocesan, justifying resort to " a lay judge in an ecclesi 
astical court " by the precedent of St. Paul who 


appealed to Caesar! He distrusts the Bishops, he 
says, altogether : " It is not love of Rome that unsettles 
people, but fear of heresy at home." He had, in his 
own name, previously sent to his own Bishop a protest 
against the Jerusalem Bishopric. A letter accompany 
ing it says that " if the English Church is to enter on a 
new course," he, at least, will have borne! witness 
against it. " I augur nothing but evil, if we in any 
respect prejudice our title to be a branch of the Apo 
stolic Church ;" he foresees that " men who learn . . . . 
that our communion is not a branch of the One Church 
will be tempted to look out for that Church 
elsewhere." This he sent to the Bishop against the 
advice of Keble, who was -frightened" at it. But 
he justifies it both to him and to Bowden on the 
ground that "there are certainly* plans on foot in 
some quarters (but I don t wish it mentioned) for 
effecting a great extended union of Protestants, the 
Church of England being at its head." 

All this looks as though the Tractarian leader, so far 
as he had any plan of tactics at all, was at this time 
keeping his men together, preventing the advanced 
section from dropping off singly to Rome, but working 
up the moderate section to face the prospect of seces 
sion, by protesting, and inducing others to protest, 
against the action of the Bishops. The Apologia tells 
us that his letter of Submission to the Bishop was a 

resignation of his place in the Movement. This was 

far from being the case, if we consider, not the 

externals, but the essence of leadership. There was 
nothing done, said, or written, but what in some way 
or other he saw so he assures his sister ; and " unless 
some strange change comes over me, there is no fear 
at present." Note this, that, "unless some strange 


change comes over" Newman, there is " no fear" that 
the rank and file will desert to Rome. To Keble, 
who seems to have desired to preach a sermon warning 
the Bishops of the danger of an immediate secession of 
young men, he sent a similar assurance : " I know of 
none such .... the persons in danger are far too 
serious men to act suddenly, or without waiting for 
what they consider God s direction." This means that 
he was waiting for a " sign " from heaven, and that they 
were waiting for a "sign " from him. " Every one I 
know," he declares, "tells me everything about himself : 
he saw and heard everything that was " done," " said," 
"written," and perhaps we may add "thought" by his 
young Oxford followers. Practically, therefore, he was 
still their leader, and still directing the Movement, 
keeping back the advanced guard. 

146. Pushing the rearguard on 

Towards the Moderate Tractarians, however, he 
presented a different aspect. These were not to be 
kept back from Rome but impelled slightly towards 
Rome. These, he tells us in the Apologia, were an 
noyed at him. They could not tell whither he was 
going ; and were still further annoyed when he per 
sisted in viewing the condemnation of Tract 90 by the 
public and the Bishops as so grave a matter, and when 
he threw about what they considered mysterious hints 
of "eventualities" and would not simply say, "An 
Anglican I was born and an Anglican I will die." 
How strong this annoyance was, Church had reported to 
Newman after a visit to the country. Newman (in a 
letter f from which extracts have been given above) 
writes to express the sadness this account has caused 


him. He is shocked to hear that one Tractarian has a 
strong " view of the sinfulness of the decrees of Trent." 
Such a " view," he says, " is as much against union of 
Churches as against individual conversions." He then 
makes what seems an extraordinary confession of 
neglect for one in his position. The extract is also 
remarkable, as an instance of the extent to which what 
" Palmer thinks," and what " Charles Marriott does not 
scruple at," are held up as inducements to believe 
something about something which the Tractarian leader 
has never taken the trouble to investigate : 

" To tell you the truth, I never have examined those decrees with 
this object and have no view ; but that is very different from having a 
deliberate view against them. Could not he say which they are ? 
I suppose Transubstantiation is one. Charles Marriott, though of 
course he would not like to have it repeated, does not scruple at 
that. I have not my mind clear. Moberly must recollect that 
Palmer [of Worcester] thinks they all bear a Catholic interpretation. 
For myself this only I see, that there is indefinitely more in the 
Fathers against our own state of alienation from Christendom than 
against the Tridentine decrees." 

He proceeds to defend himself from the charge of 
having startled people by Romanizing utterances : 

"The only thing I can think of [that I can have said of a startling 
character] is this, that there were persons who, if our Church com 
mitted herself to heresy, sooner than think that there was no Church 
anywhere, would believe the Roman to be the Church ; and there 
fore would, on faith, accept what they could not otherwise acquiesce 

Now, in his public Protest against the Jerusalem 
Bishopric, he had said " that the recognition of heresy," 
e.g. in the matter of the Jerusalem Bishopric, went far 
to destroy the claim of the English Church "to be a 


branch of the Catholic Church." The inference is 
obvious, viz., that the English Church had gone far to 
commit herself to heresy, and that therefore, the 
. "persons," mentioned above, must be also far on the 
way to " believe the Roman to be the Church." 
Newman cannot deny the inference. All he can do is 
to deny that the danger is "immediate." He ex 
presses the hope that " seven f years " hence (it used 
to be in his former letters " twenty " years hence, and 
the change is perhaps ominous) they may all be in a 
better state of mind to consider these matters. On the 
following day he continues his letter. No one has any 
right, he says, to suggest these dismal eventualities- 
forgetting that it is he himself who has been " startling " 
people by suggesting them. He then adds a protest 
against the obstinate Anglicanism of Church s corre 
spondent : " He surely does not mean to say that 
nothing could separate a man from the English Church ; 
e.g. its avowing Socinianism ; its holding the Holy 
Eucharist in a Socinian sense." 

Then follow words intended to prepare for a 
Tractarian secession en masse. The position of events, 
he says, is more serious now than in the seventeenth 
century ; then it was discipline, now it is doctrine that 
is in question : " If such dreadful events were realised, I 
cannot help thinking we " [i.e., we Tractarians] " should 
all be vastly more agreed than we think now." Then, 
without mentioning Rome, he suggests that there is no 
alternative but Rome : " But let this be considered, as 
to alternatives. What Communion could we join ? 
Could the Scotch or American sanction the presence of 
its Bishops and congregations in England, without incur 
ring the imputation of schism, unless indeed (and is that 
likely ?) they denounced the English as heretical ? " 


Then still without mentioning Rome he urges that 
the right course is "to do simply what we think 
right day by day : shall we not be sure to go wrong if 
we attempt to trace by anticipation the course of Divine 
Providence ? " 

147. Janus -leader ship 

" Doing what we think right day by day " is an 
admirable course when we can trust our own con 
science to tell us what is " right day by day " : but 
not otherwise, not if a man has to consult other people s 
consciences, or books. Still more, if a man must be ever 
watching for "signs" to help him to discern what is right 
and wrong, then, "doing what we think right day by day" 
means simply drifting. This Newman was now doing ; 
and, on the whole, spite of little occasional reactions, in 
one direction towards Rome. But still, while being 
thus steadily led on by what he thought the Light, he was 
also doing his best to lead others ; or rather (as has 
been said, before) to lead some, and draw back 

This double task explains the difficulty of his posi 
tion. In his own heart, he had already taken wings 
and was, by anticipation, at rest, in Rome. But his 
duty (as he considered it) to the Catholic Church, 
and the responsibility of leadership which he could 
not feel it right to cast aside, obliged him to remain 
in a painful, and doubtful, and (so to speak) double- 
faced position. Even if the Bishops had, at a 
blow, committed the Church to heresy, things 
were not as yet ripe for secession. His own party 
was not of one mind. If Ward and Oakeley were 
hurrying too fast, the Moderates were lagging as 
much too slow. Hook had actually subscribed to the 


Jerusalem fund, Palmer had defended it. In a recent 
election to the Professorship of Poetry, the candidate 
recommended by Pusey as " a person whose known 
religious views would ensure him making his office 
minister to religion " had withdrawn after a virtual 
defeat ; and this, too, though he was really something 
of a poet, while his successful opponent was little more 
than a cultivated scholar. Even Manning and Samuel 
Wilberforce had not supported Pusey s candidate. 
That was bad enough. But still worse was the ominous 
fact that some of the advanced Tractarians themselves 
(so Newman tells his sister) were not ill pleased at the 
result : " They look out, with some sort of relief, for 
signs of our Church retrograding and withdrawing* her 
Notes." Again, Keble had disapproved of Newman s 
protest. Even Pusey could not always be depended 
on. " In his first impulse," Newman bitterly complains, 
Pusey " was ready enough to grant the Archbishop the 
term Protestant/ who asked him to allow it. I think 
he would, if left to himself."^ 

Hence a constant clashing in the duties and utter 
ances of the Leader. To the impetuous vanguard he 
had to cry aloud that they were not to contemplate 
eventualities ; but the loitering rearguard had to be 
reminded that " the best way to keep in the Church 
was steadily to contemplate, and act upon the possi 
bility of leaving it." The former were to be forbidden 
to bring fear into the camp ; the latter were to be con 
tinually frightened by rumours that the Bishops were 
unchurching and Protestantizing them. The mischief 
of private judgment, the wilfulness of single conversions, 
the still-remaining Notes of the Anglican Church, the 
sin of doing anything sudden in changing one s religion 
these were the words of command for the advanced 


Party : but the laggards had to be quickened and 
stimulated by being told that "the Fathers" were far 
more opposed to the Church of England than to the 
Tridentine decrees ; that the Notes of the Church were 
fast going, if not already gone ; that if the Church was 
still further " unchurched,"* men must look out for the 
true Church elsewhere ; that in " twenty," or perhaps 
in "seven" years, or perhaps sooner still, all of the 
Party might be of one mind, and prepared for some 
joint movement towards some other communion, which, 
apparently, could not be that of the Scotch or American 

Any leader might be distracted, if thus forced, 
Janus-like, to ride between two battalions and to give 
orders with two mouths, urging the van to keep back, 
and the rear to come on faster. And how much more 
if the leader himself hardly knew whether to advance 
quickly, or slowly, or to stand still and wait, and if 
what he called his "reason" varied with each "sign" 
and "omen" of the moment, whether it was some 
flight of birds, or passing cloud, or the neighing of his 
own horse ! Newman by nature a Greek of Greeks, 
with nothing Roman about him except a tendency to * 
superstition, and a certain Romanesque craving for 
external system was proud to believe that he had in 
himself something of the organizing spirit of the great 
warriors and legislators of the Eternal City ; and true 
it is that the Roman generals were practical men and 
yet went largely by omens. But they could scarcely 
have conquered the world if they had so given up their 
minds to the anticipation of these prognostics, that they 
were of no mind, or of two minds*, when the battle 
had once begun. 


148. "Bigotry" the sin of Whately 

Between the Sermons, and many of the letters, of 
1841, there is naturally something of a contrast corre 
sponding to the contrast between the Advanced and the 
Moderate sections of the Tractarians. The letters, 
for the most part are written to those who are outside 
Oxford, whom the leader wishes to contemplate 
steadily the possibility of leaving the Church of 
England ; but the sermons, being addressed to his 
own more immediate followers, bid them remain in 
the Church and (for the most part) not contemplate 
eventualities. Of course, however, there is a great 
difference between the sermons before, and after, the 
second appearance of " the ghost" in the summer of 

A sermon preached before the University (i June, 
1841), on "Wisdom as contrasted with Faith and 
Bigotry " represents his last utterance, as an Anglican, 
on a subject to which he will not return till he 
publishes his mature views as a Romanist, in The 
Grammar of Assent. The next few months will 
drive him from such comparatively unimportant and 
professorial subjects to the vital questions, " What are 
the Notes of the true Church ? and do they exist in 
the Church of England ? " Meantime, he makes it 
his business to narrow the office of Reason (in 
Religion) to the task of finding such analogies and 
presumptions as will justify and illustrate facts stated, 
or doctrines taught, in Scripture ; and he suggests that 
Bigotry is nothing more than an intellectual error, a 
kind of pedantical conceit, characterizing men of 
narrow views who have formed no conception of the 


wide range of Catholic truth. Hitherto he has been 
content to perplex his readers by merely using the 
word " Reason " in two senses. Now he introduces a 
new sense for " Evidences," denying the name to any 
but "such investigations into the relation of idea to 
idea, and such developments of system, as have been 
described." Ignoring experiment and experience as 
means of originating theory and ascertaining truth, he 
declares that the employment which he destines for 
Reason is that " to which the Reason of Newton 
dedicated itself," as well as that of Athanasius, 
Augustine, and Aquinas. Thence passing to the 
distinction between Faith and Bigotry, he gives an 
entirely new definition of the latter. 

Bigotry, with him, is an intellectual error: it " professes 
to understand what it maintains, though it does not " ; 
persists in " arguing only in one way " ; takes up, 
"not a religious, but a philosophical position; and 
" lays claim to Wisdom." Much of this reads like an 
attempt to show that Whateley and his followers are 
the ideal bigots ; men who have "clear and decisive 
explanations always ready of the sacred mysteries of 
Faith " ; " consider that the premisses with which they 
start, just prove the conclusions which they draw and 
nothing else " ; " have drawn their lines, and formed 
their classes, and given to each opinion, argument, 
principle, and party, its own locality"; "profess to 
know where to find everything .... are vexed at 
new principles of arrangement," " grow giddy amid 
cross divisions," and " cannot separate words from 
their own ideas and ideas from their own associations." 
Such a disposition of mind exists, and deserves to be 
noted and censured. But it is not what is commonly 
understood by Bigotry. 


The real difference between religious Faith and 
religious Bigotry arises from the difference of their 
objects the one being trust in a wise and loving 
Father * ; the other, a desire to propitiate tyrannical 
Powers. Hence Faith, recognizing the brotherhood 
of men as a truth inseparable from the truth of the 
Fatherhood of God, can dictate nothing cruel or 
unnatural, while Bigotry permeated with selfish fears, 
and conscious that it knows nothing whatever of the 
whims and caprices of its Tyrants save through books, 
omens, dreams, and priests finds nothing too revolt 
ing, inhuman, and unnatural, to perpetrate for the sake 
of averting Their* wrath. Newman who does not 
really recognize in his heart the love of man as pre 
paration for the love of God knows nothing of this 
essential difference. Always confused in these subjects, 
he is seldom more confused than here. Sometimes he 
speaks as if Bigotry were inferior to Faith in being 
unselfish. Faith, he tells us, differs from Bigotry in 
that the former is a " practical principle," and "judges 
and decides because it cannot help doing so for the 
sake of the man himself . . . who exercises it." In 
other words, if Torquemada burns us for the sake of 
our souls and not his own, he is a bigot and not acting 
in faith ; but if he does it for the sake of his own soul, 
he is acting in faith and is not a bigot ! 

The preacher concludes with a reference to " persons 
of narrow views "- interesting because, though his di 
rect aim seems Whately^, he seems to be striking a side- 
blow at himself. The reader will recollect that he had 
disavowed Keble s charge of being " fidgety " about 
making things " clear and square," first to himself, and 
then to others. But he was too self-suspicious not 
occasionally to think that the charge might be true. 


Hence, when we find him saying that " True Catholicity 
is commensurate with the wants of the human mind ; 
but persons are often to be found who are surprised 
that they cannot persuade all men to follow them, and 
cannot destroy dissent, by preaching a portion of the 
Divine System, instead of the whole of it " ; it is hardly 
possible to doubt that he is meditating on his own 
failure ; on the " pulverization " of the Via Media under 
the blows of Leo and Athanasius ; and on the possi 
bilities of future revelations " of the whole counsel of 
God." Consciously or unconsciously, he seems to be 
describing his own position (and preparing the way for 
the "ghost" which was again to appear to him three 
or four weeks afterwards) when he thus describes the 
conflict in the minds of those who suddenly receive new 
knowledge : 

" What they did not know, or what they knew but had not weighed, 
suddenly presses upon their notice. Then they become impatient 
that they cannot make their proofs clear, and try to make a forcible 
riddance of objections. They look about for new arguments and put 
violence on Scripture or on history. They show a secret misgiving 
about the truth of their principles, by shrinking from the appearance 
of defeat, or from occasional doubt within. They become alarmists 
and they forget that the issue of all things, and the success of their 
own cause (if it be what they think it) is sealed and secured by 
Divine promise ; and sometimes in this conflict between broad fact 
and narrow principle, the hard material breaks their tools ; they are 
obliged to give up their principles. A state of uncertainty and dis 
tress follows, and, in the end, perhaps, bigotry is supplanted by 
general scepticism." 

This was written in June, 1841. Before that summer 
had passed away, Newman was to realise much of this. 
He had prepared the way for the consequence by going- 
through the needful antecedents. He had "become 
impatient that he could not make his proofs clear " ; he 



had " tried to make a forcible riddance of objections " ; 
he had " looked about for new arguments, and put 
violence on Scripture and on history " ; he had " shown 
secret misgivings about the truth of his principles, by 
shrinking from the appearance of defeat and from 
occasional doubt within." Soon in the studies of the 
Long Vacation " what he did not know, or what he 
knew but had not weighed " in the early history of the 
Church, was "suddenly" to " press upon him." The 
" hard material " would " break his tools " ; a " state of 
uncertainty and distress " would follow ; and, in the 
end, his narrow Anglican prepossessions " would be 
supplanted," not indeed by " scepticism " (for Newman 
himself by his "perhaps" leaves us an alternative), but 
by the opposite pole of absolute credulity. 

149. Sibthorp 1 s t conversion 

-, The autumn brought many changes, and, as a con 
sequence of these, a great change in the tone of 
Newman s sermons. The " three great blows" had 
fallen. These have been described above ; but some 
thing else had occurred which made a great impression 
at the time. After Tract 90, Ward and Newman had 
been corresponding with Romanists as to possibilities of 
union. The former, with one or two others, had visited 
Oscott, and had been much impressed. Communi 
cations had been opened with Bishop Wiseman. The 
feeling on the Roman side was " Come over at once." 
On the side of advanced Tractarians it was, " We 
are disposed to come over ; but we wish to come over, 
if at all, in a body ; and upon terms." In a letter of 
September in that year Newman had sketched the 
terms. Papal supremacy is not mentioned as a diffi- 


culty ; nor is the Invocation of the Saints ; on the 
Continent, too, things might remain as they were ; but 
the Anglican Church was to be allowed to make some 
" explanation " of Transubstantiation, some " protest " 
against " the extreme honours paid to St. Mary " ; and 
she might hope to " gain the cup." But it was indis 
pensable that the Tractarians, if they were to go 
through even the semblance of negotiating with Rome, 
should present a firm front to her just now, and not 
desert to the Roman camp by one, and twos. 

Just at this crisis, happened the first desertion. Mr. 
Sibthorp, an Anglican clergyman, " had been gradually 
rising from a low church state" and was "developing " 
in his chapel at Ryde. Whether as a consequence, or 
not, of his " development," one of his congregation 
became, or was on the point of becoming, a convert 
to Rome. Sibthorp, a Fellow of Magdalen, came 
suddenly to his old College, about the middle of 
October, to ask his friend Bloxam for an introduction 
to Wiseman, intending, apparently, to expostulate, or 
to make some explanation, about this member of his 
flock. "He certainly," says Bloxam, " went to Oscott 
without the slightest intention " of being converted 
himself. It so happened that Newman met him 
in Magdalen cloisters, Sibthorp said, " I am going to 
Oscott." " Take care," was the jesting reply, " they do 
not keep you there." But the jest became real earnest. 
In a few days Sibthorp returned, after having been 
"received" at Oscott ; and Newman had to pay a 
second visit to Magdalen to warn Bloxam against 
" monkeys who had lost their tails and wished other 
monkeys to lose theirs." 

This, as it perhaps encouraged the Romanists, 
greatly discouraged and annoyed the advanced 

x 2 


Tractarians. People had no business, they said, to 
rush into the true Church, in this way, " on Wesleyan 
principles," guided by their own feelings. They ought 
to go upon authority, not upon private judgment ; to 
wait for some "sign," or for God s " direction" ; and, 
above all, they ought to move altogether, or not at all. 
A little before this, a letter of Newman s (whether the 
one just mentioned, or not, does not appear) had 
altogether misled his own followers, by inducing them 
to suppose that the hour for secession was at hand. 
Newman had disavowed that interpretation, while 
acknowledging that the meaning had been conveyed 
by his words ; but, of course, besides making his fol 
lowers restless, it had excited eager expectations 
among the Romanists. " You may perhaps have heard 
from Bishop Wiseman," writes Ward (28 October) 
to a Romanist friend, "that we all (naturally 
enough, as he acknowledges), misunderstood part of 
Newman s letter, and imagined him to have put the 
case of his own coming over with others, much more 
positively than he ever intended to put it." Ward then 
proceeds to state what "seems to be, or rather certainly 
is" "his feeling on the subject." This, "seems to be, 
or rather certainly is," is an amusing indication of the 
perplexity of Newman s followers caused by the 
enigmatical and tortuous nature of his utterances, even 
when he was endeavouring to make clear what he had 
before expressed obscurely. However, the " feeling " 
was, to wait. But the writer must be quoted ; for he 
shows that the waiting was to be indefinite : Newman s 
" feeling " was that " we ought hardly to look beyond the 
present hour, but wait in quietness and obedience foi 
plainer indications of God s will concerning us ; th; 
we have been hitherto so singularly guided and prc 


tected, things have so baffled in their issues all human 
calculation, that any more self-willed course of conduct 
may forfeit to any extent the blessings which we 
humbly hope are in store for us ; the message might 
come to us any day which would warn us to change 
our position ; it may be a duty for many years to 
remain as we are." 

This letter, begun before the news of Sibthorp s 
conversion had reached Oxford, was continued a few 
days afterwards. Evidently the Tractarians were dis 
couraged by this inconvenient incident. Ward now 
hopes they will not be thought " very rude " if they 
ask their correspondent to put off his visit to Oxford ; 
and then there is a long demonstration of the amount 
of Catholic work and doctrine going on among Angli 
cans for which his correspondent hardly gives them 
credit. "Your Church," he says, "should assume" 
that " wherever are found strictness and purity of life, 
anxious conscientiousness, &c., these are her friends. 
These qualities and the persons possessed of them, 
really belong to her, and should be looked on as secret 
fellow-workers with her." He then deprecates anxiety 
on the part of the Church of Rome that Tractarian 
" individuals" should "join her by short cuts " : to feel 
such anxiety, is, he says, " to take up a sectarian posi 
tion." Thus, in private among themselves, and in their 
correspondence with Romanists, the Tractarians treat 
Sibthorp as the " monkey " that had cut off his tail, or 
as a hasty goer "by short cuts" whose example is to 
be deprecated. How that impulsive convert will be 
treated by their Leader publicly, in the pulpit, the next 
section will show. 


1 50. Preventing desertions 

Sibthorp s desertion, would, of course, make it harder 
than before for Newman to keep the party together. 
On what principle, worthy to be called a principle, 
could he prevent others from following the example ? 
Had he not taught them that, in religion, each man s 
first business was to look after himself and his own 
" safety "? What would be the consequence ? Sooner 
or later the question must arise among his young men, 
"Are we safe with you?" "Are you sure you can 
give us absolution ? " If they did ask that, he knew 
he could not say, " Yes." His only course, then, was 
to prevent them from asking it by preoccupying their 
minds with the belief that they had within them, or 
about them, some " signs " or " notes " of " safety." 
Accordingly, his first sermon after this desertion one 
of his best in literary beauty and emotional expres 
sion is an attempt to reassure them by appealing to 
"signs" within them. " How great a blessing is 
it ... especially in an age like this, that the tokens of 
Christ are not only without us, but more properly 
within us!" He goes on to say that " the outward 
signs" have " well-nigh deserted us;" God has "in 
judgment, obscured the visible and public notes of His 
Kingdom among us : " " how few even of serious men 
could remain peaceful and steadfast, or be secure 
about themselves, that they would not run any whither, 
if they judged merely by what is seen ! " Then follows 
a series of hypothetical adjurations. He appeals to 
his congregation if they have " come to Service and 
been favoured" with " the peace or the illumination " 
they "needed"; if, when they "visited holy places," 


they " certainly gained there a manifestation such as 
the world could not give " ; if sermons have come to 
them with power or have been blessed to their spiritual 
good ; or if their soul has been, as it were, transfigured 
within them when they came to the Most Holy 
Sacrament ; or if Lent and Passiontide have brought 
to them what they had not before ; or if, at Ordinations, 
they have been partakers of an indescribable influence, 
though they " realised it not at the time;" or if 
4 strange providences, and almost supernatural co 
incidences," have " hung about the Church s ordin 
ances " to pause before they doubted that there was 
a Divine Presence among them still. 

Beautiful words ! But no more than words, not 
even if we add his appeal to an experience of mercies, 
judgments, and death-beds and availing little indeed to 
quiet the anxieties of a true and well-instructed Tract- 
arian, anxious for Sacramental grace, but distrustful of 
his own feelings ! However, on the next Sunday he 
returns to the subject in " Outward and Inward Notes 
of the Church." And now Sibthorp is brought upon 
the stage in order to hold up the English Church to 
hatred and contempt : 

" We English, as if some abomination of desolation were coming 
on us also, scorn almost all Christianity but our own ; . . . peace we 
know not, nor faith, nor love . . . Instead of acknowledging that 
our brother has left us because we have left God, that we have lost 
him because we have lost our claim to keep him, we forsooth, think 
4 we do well to be angry, and can but enlarge on his impatience, or 
obstinacy, or wilmlness, or infatuation." 

Who would have guessed that this " brother " was 
the "monkey" that had "cut off his tail," and had 
been censured for deserting the Church " on Wesleyan 
principles " ? Still, he goes on to show why the 


"brother" is not to be followed. The sermon con 
cludes by noting how "a feeling" has kept many 
persons, acting quite independently, from quitting the 
Anglican Church. Accepting this unintentional agree 
ment as a kind of heaven-sent message, he bids his 
hearers " beware of turning a deaf ear to what may 
prove to be a Divine token." 

If this was not "going by one s feelings," it is hard 
to say what is. Like so many other of Newman s 
positions, this, too, was one of unstable equilibrium. 
Some more definite and solid basis was needed. Ac 
cordingly, the following sermons might be expected to 
grapple with the difficult question of the outward 
Notes of the Anglican Church. But how could he do 
this, when he had repeatedly said that God had 
"obscured" these Notes, and that they were practi 
cally non-existent ? From this network of difficulties 
Newman s Implicit Reason extricates him by the help 
of analogy. What the schismatic Church of Israel was 
to the orthodox Church of Judah, that the Anglican 
was to the Roman. The Tractarian Church is "Sama 
ria" ; he is Elijah. Elijah " did not worship at the 
Temple, and was cut off from those with whom was 
the adoption " ; "Elijah and Elisha kept the people 
shut up under that system, if it might be so called, in 
which they found them ; and sought rather to teach 
them their duty than to restore to them their privi 
leges " ; Elijah " had no heart for that outward glory 
of holier times ; he passed by Jerusalem," and " went 
his way to the desert." 

And now, after having told his hearers in his 
previous sermons that the English (and presumably the 
English Church) had " left God," and " know not peace, 
nor faith, nor love," he passionately adjures them to 


have faith in this recreant Church instead of returning 
to the true one ! " What want we but faith in our 
Church ? With faith we can do everything ; without 
faith we can do nothing." There follow words still less 
justifiable for one in Newman s position. He himself 
had twice been shocked by " misgivings " as to the 
English Church, misgivings which every day was now 
making stronger : he was more than half disposed to 
regard them as suggestions from above ; yet he here 
exhorts his hearers to regard them as coming from 
below ; " If we have a secret misgiving about her, all 
is lost ; we lose our nerve, our powers, our position, 
our hope." 

I find it difficult to explain how Newman could have 
brought himself to use language like this, unless * he 
seriously believed that one can, so to speak, pump 
up "faith," and pump out " misgivings " by the 
mechanical processes of repeating prescribed prayers 
and creeds, and doing prescribed works. The 
comment of Ward on these sermons is interesting, 
especially as addressed to a Romanist : "I think you 
would have been much pleased, for he neither said nor 
implied anything whatever against Rome, and spoke of 
the visible notes of our Church as either gone or fast 
going." With this we may well agree. But does it 
not follow that Anglican and Protestant England, 
hearing, not without exaggerations the substance of 
these Advent sermons preached by the Vicar of St. 
Mary s Oxford, would not be " much pleased " ? 

151. " Grounds for steadfastness " 

In the last of these sermons, " Grounds for Stead 
fastness in our Religious Profession," while still pro- 


testing that "the only satisfactory test of religion is 
something within us," Newman appeals (as before) to 
" wonderful providences" and " answers to prayer" as 
proofs that the Church in which such things occur may 
be a branch of the true Church. 

On this, being mere repetition, we should not need 
to dwell, but that he adds another Note, not previously 
mentioned. It consists of supernatural punishments 
inflicted on unworthy partakers of the Lord s Supper. 
These, by testifying to the reality of the Sacrament, 
testify indirectly to the apostolical grace of those who 
administer it, and therefore to the validity of Anglican 
Ordination. Possibly Newman had in his mind the 
case of his sexton at St. Mary s. Knowing his 
character, Newman had hesitated before giving him 
the sacrament. But he had given it, and, shortly 
afterwards, the man had committed suicide Whatever 
instance, or instances, may have been in his mind/this 
must be accepted as a proof that the preacher had 
searched far and wide for Notes, and was hard put to 
it to find anything besides those subjective tokens 
which, in his heart, he quite distrusted. The passage 
deserves quotation. " Our Church," says the preacher, 
as if to give us a test of her Catholicity, boldly 
declares of her most solemn ordinance, that he who 
profanes it, incurs the danger of judgment " ; now " we 
really have proofs among us " of " clear punishment 
coming upon profanation of the holy ordinance in 
question"; "sometimes," he adds, there are "very 
fearful instances." What follows ? If there be " pro 
fanation," there must be " something to be profaned," 
And this answers the question whether our Sacraments 
"really have with them the presence" of Christ. 
Everything turns on this, for : 


" If so, we are part of the Church ; if not, then we are but per 
formers in a sort of scene or pageant, which may be religiously 
intended, and which God, in His mercy, may visit, but, if He visits, 
will, in visiting, go beyond His own promise." 

To base a defence of the Church of England on such 
4i proofs " of " punishment " as this, will seem to many 
to be a kind of tergiversation. If this is the result of 
remaining in a heretic Church " in order to promote 
her return," we may well think that Ward described it 
better when he spoke of " remaining in our position 
with the hope of " "poisoning as many as possible." 
Even though we grant that, among the congregation, 
there were Newman s own advanced followers whom 
he was keeping back from Rome ; still we have no 
right to assume there were not many others who 
would be what Ward calls " poisoned." 

Yet the evidences of profound gloom and intense 
spiritual anxiety are so strong that our resentment 
against what seems Newman s unfairness is almost lost 
in sympathy with his fears. It is a terrible and pitiable 
condition of soul when a minister of the Gospel has to 
appeal to such " notes " as the death or sickness of 
profane communicants in order to show that the 
National Church "in spite of its manifold disorders, is 
a safe Church to die in." These ominous words "die" 
and " safe," coming at the conclusion of the course of 
sermons, are like two sword-thrusts, under which the 
whole of the argument falls dead. The time will soon 
come when, not in the pulpit, but in privacy where 
there can be no gush of rhetoric, no veil of verbiage 
a young man will look him in the face and say, in 
effect, "Am I safe if I die to-night?" and "Are you 
sure you can give me absolution ? " and then, where 
will our rhetorician be ? 


There is nothing of real faith in all these sermons 
except the passionate hope that somehow, and at some 
time, God will lead him and his followers to some good 
conclusion. And certainly, too, there is none of that 
faith in their Church which, to a Tractarian, was 
essential, and which Newman entreats his hearers to 
have, as though his entreaty could give to them what 
he himself did not possess. All is unconsciously 
rhetorical, and unwittingly hollow. He is working 
himself up, and trying to work others up, to believe 
in that in which they do not believe. He himself puts 
before them the possibility that they may be " but per 
formers in a sort of scene or pageant." That dismal 
hypothesis will soon press itself upon him and his 
followers as a still more dismal probability. To play 
at celebrating the Sacrament and it will seem a play 
to them, if Anglican Ordinations are really not valid- 
will seem a " pageant" of a portentously awful kind 
such an imposture as Satan himself might originate, 
encourage, and laugh at. Come a few months, and a 
friend will say to Ward, " Bear in mind that you are, 
on our principles, really a priest of God." Then Ward 
will break off the discourse, saying, "If that is the case, 
the whole thing is infernal humbug." * Strong lan 
guage ; but not too strong, under the circumstances ! 
That will be the beginning of the end. What Ward 
says to-day, Newman must say to-morrow. One 
will say "humbug," the other will say "pageant"; 
but they will both mean the same thing. 



152. Torres Vedras 

EARLY in 1842 Newman resolved to leave Oxford for 
Littlemore. His reasons vary, as usual, with the 
persons to whom he gives them. " I went up there to 
say my prayers " ; and, " for what I knew, my doubts 
would vanish if the newspapers would be so good as to 
give me time and let me alone " such is the account 
to the world in the Apologia. Yet even there he adds, 
" I had thought of giving up my Living a year or two 
before " he means two years and a ^z//" before " and 
this was the first step to it." To his sister he says 
that he feels out of place and superannuated at Oxford ; 
that the Heads are taking measures to keep the men 
from St. Mary s ; and that his preaching there is a 
cause of irritation. Lastly to his young men he 
describes his retirement as a piece of military strategy. 
" I called Littlemore my Torres Vedras, and thought 
that some day we might advance again within the 
Anglican Church as we had been forced to retire." 

Naturally, the world took the last of these three 
views : and in the main, it was the true one. No doubt, 
the attractions of a quasi-monastic life helped to draw 
Newman from Oxford, partly for the good of his soul, 


partly because ascetic meditation appeared to him likely 
to lead to a solution of his religious problems. This 
thought appears in many of the letters of this period, and 
notably in a sermon preached (23 January) a few days 
before he left Oxford : " Let us turn from shadows of 
all kinds. . . . Let us attempt, through God s grace, 
to advance and sanctify the inner man. We cannot be 
wrong here." But that was not his only object. He 
felt that he was still responsible for the guidance of 
many who had been induced by him to participate in 
the Movement. Some of these he intended to invite 
to join his retirement. Thus he could prepare them, 
as he was preparing himself, to receive the divine 
message that might at any time arrive, to go forward,, 
either within, or without, the Anglican Church. 

It was a most difficult position. He compares it to- 
that of the surgeon and the chaplain on board a man- 
of-war, who had persuaded a sailor to have one leg off, 
and then broke it to him that he must have the other 
off too ; upon which the poor fellow replied, You 
should have told me that before, gentlemen " ; then he 
deliberately unscrewed the tourniquet and bled to> 
death. The one leg was ordinary Anglicanism ; the 
other leg was Tractarianism ; bleeding to death was. 
atheism ; surviving with both legs off, was, I suppose, 
Romanism. How did he know that his followers, 
when he broke it to them that they must lose their 
second or Tractarian leg, would not prefer to " bleed to* 
death " ? But, besides the pain of this hard responsi 
bility, it was trying to his own morality. It was lawful, 
perhaps, here and there, to see certain Romeward- 
tending results of his doctrine, and "though he saw 
them not to say that he saw them " ; but when it came 
to a large question like this, to what was indeed the 


whole question, was it lawful for him to see "and 
" not to say he saw " ? 

Did he know beforehand that his young men must 
lose the Tractarian leg ? If he did, was he not bound 
to tell them ? If he did not, must we not say, having 
regard to all the circumstances, that he was not com 
petent to act as a doctor, and that it would have been 
well to give up doctoring ? It would have been humi 
liating, no doubt, to make a plain confession of present 
incompetence to guide others ; but it would have been 
ultimately better for others as well as for his own self- 
respect. Perhaps, however, he could not give up the 
notion that Providence intended him to be somehow a 
guide, and would give him the necessary guidance ; and 
he may have regarded his new plan as a providential 
means of exercising that personal influence which he 
recognized as the most powerful instrument for diffusing 
religious truth. Purposing to retire from St. Mary s, 
he threw himself into the project he had suggested to 
Rogers, of starting a monastic house, which might 
possibly be a pattern to similar houses ; or, as he had 
put it, might be "obliged to follow the fashion and 
conform to a rule of discipline." 

Accordingly a monastic establishment was now started 
at Littlemore. The plans had been sketched by 
Newman in June 1840. There were to be " cells," 
each consisting of a " dormitory" and two other rooms ; 
" a refectory "; possible " cloisters " ; also a " chapel " 
in prospect. Everything was very rough, and life in 
Lent roughest of all. A biographer of Newman, who 
derives his information from " Littlemore men," tells 
us that Newman s letter to his Bishop does not give 
"any idea of his primitive austerities and observances." 
During Lent, he says, " the monks " ate nothing till 


five, and then " the solitary meal was of salt fish." 
One of them soon had a serious illness, and the doctor 
told them they would all be speedily dead if things 
went on thus ; after which, relaxations were made. 
They breakfasted, standing, at a board erected 
" in the improvised refectory." "The Chapel was 
hardly more pretentious than the dining-room ; " but 
"it had a large crucifix bought at Lima. ... It was 
what was called very pronounced, with the all but 
barbaric realism of Spanish religious art." A table 
supported the base, and on the table \vere two candles, 
which Newman himself lighted at prayer time, having 
made them necessary by veiling the windows with 
hangings. Of an altar there was no pretence, for they 
could use the Littlemore Church : " The disciples 
stood in a row on either side of the chapel for the 
recitation of Divine Office ; . . . . the days and hours 
of the Catholic Church were duly kept ; and the only 
alteration made in the Office was that Saints were 
invoked with a modification of Newman s making the 
Ora pro nobis being changed in recitation to 
Oret: " 

153. Newman defends his position with " irony" 

We have Tractarianized in the English Church a 
good deal since 1842. But, half a century ago, it is not 
surprising that the English press busied itself a good 
deal with these doings of the Vicar of St. Mary s 
Oxford. The Bishop himself, forced at last to take 
some notice of the reports, wrote to Newman that he 
was not in the habit of paying much attention to 
charges against him in the newspapers as so many of 
them were false and calumnious : 


"In [a newspaper], however, of April 9 there appears a paragraph 
in which it is asserted as a matter of notoriety, that a so-called Anglo- 
Catholic Monastery is in process of erection at Littlemore, and that 
the cells of dormitories, the chapel, the refectory, the cloisters, all 
may be seen advancing to perfection, under the eye of a parish priest 
of the Diocese of Oxford." 

I suppose it will hardly be denied that monastery" 
(especially when qualified by " Anglo-Catholic ") is 
substantially the same thing as ^01/77, or "monastic 
house," or monastic institution" (Newman s names 
for it). If this be conceded, there is not a word in 
this paragraph that was not literally true. The expres 
sion " cells of dormitories " was quite correct ; only, the 
reporter should have gone further and said " cells of 
dormitories, sitting rooms, and bath-rooms," for each 
"cell " was to contain three rooms. The " refectory" 
had been mentioned by Newman himself as a thing of 
course. The " Littlemore men " called it " improvised "; 
but there was one. The " chapel," or "oratory," had 
been contemplated by Newman, and has been 
described above, again on the testimony of " Little- 
more men." The "cloisters" will be also found in 
Newman s plan. 

Yet, though the newspaper was right, Newman was 
not precluded from a reply, that would have been both 
dignified and truthful. He might have said that he 
believed in collegiate religious life, even without vows ; 
that our great cities would perhaps be the better if such 
houses as these existed in their midst ; that he, at all 
events, intended to try the experiment ; and that in 
this there was nothing inconsistent with perfect loyalty 
to his Bishop and his Church. A little quiet scorn 
might have been pardonable, perhaps, at the alarm 
which made Protestants shiver because a suite of 

VOL. II y 


rooms was called a " cell," and a dining-room a 
" refectory." 

Instead of this, however, Newman prefers to ride off 
on a mere verbal evasion that is not even verbally 
justifiable. After two close octavo pages of querulous 
lament that his private aspirations after piety must 
needs be discussed by a prying public, he continues : 

" As to the quotation from the [newspaper] which I have not 
seen, your Lordship will perceive from what I have said that no 
monastery is in process of erection, there is no chapel, no re 
fectory, hardly a dining-room or parlour. The cloisters are my 
shed connecting the cottages. I do not understand what cells of 
dormitories means." 

What he " meant" by denying he knew the " mean 
ing " of his own words, it is hard to say. Presumably 
and this is quite in accordance with Newman s 
controversial method he had forgotten that he had 
himself used the word " cell " in this novel sense, and 
thought himself justified, when another person did the 
same, in treating it as nonsense. He then takes full 
advantage of the answer which the kindly Bishop had 
put into his mouth : " Of course I can repeat your 
Lordship s words, that I am not attempting a revival 
of the Monastic Orders in anything approaching to the 
Romanist sense of the term. This he could readily 
do ; but this was no answer to the charge that he was 
instituting " a so-called Anglo -Cat ho lie Monastery" 
Nor was it substantially truthful to add, " I am 
attempting nothing ecclesiastical, but something per 
sonal and private. "" Probably he took for granted that 
the Bishop was on his side ; and he felt that he was 
justified in "answering a fool " not the Bishop, of 
course, but the newspaper reporter " according to his 
folly." It was, I suppose, an exaggerated instance of 


that love of wantoning with words which made New 
man sometimes say reckless things in order to evade 
what he considered impertinent curiosity. It was a 
mixture of " irony " and " economy " ; an auxiliary 
faculty to which, when hard pressed, he could no more 
help resorting than a cuttle-fish can prevent itself from 
sheltering itself in its retreat from a superior enemy by 
an efflux of innate ink. If, however, Newman s letter 
was published, I do not see how the " men of Little- 
more " themselves could help being somewhat scan 
dalized at hearing, on the authority of their " Vicar," 
that their "cells of dormitories," their " refectory," and 
their "chapel," had no present, and apparently no con 
templated, existence. And how can we blame those 
who owned to the name of Protestants, if, comparing 
the facts with Newman s denial of them, they were 
confirmed (in accordance with Pusey s prediction) in 
the impressions they had already formed of Tractarian 

Jesuitism " ? 

One of the most popular paragraphs in the Apologia 
describes, in very touching language, Newman s 
misery at being molested in his religious retirement by 
jealous, inquisitive, vulgar Protestant eyes. He burns 
with indignation against the Oxford authorities, who, 
like " mounted patrols," walked their horses round his 

poor cottages." Why may he not go to Littlemore 
to "say his prayers," but the Protestant Press must 
needs be at him ? Why may he not " creep into a 
hole " and be let " die in peace " ? And so on, for the 
best part of a page. Yet, when carefully examined, 
there is not one of these pathetic cries that will not be 
found to be a mere exemplification of Newman s habit 
of laying the blame on others when he has done wrong 
himself. Each of these complaints is either an un- 

Y 2 


conscious equivocation, or virtually admits that he him 
self had done something to be complained of. This 
might have been shown, if the Oxford authorities and 
Protestant England generally who have received 
scant justice from the historians of the Tractarian 
Movement had been allowed to have their say in 
the matter. Let them be allowed now. 

" I had thought," he says, " that an Englishman s 
house was his castle." So it is, replies Protestant 
England ; but you, the Vicar of St. Marys, chose to 
call it a "monastic institution" and to call your young 
pupils " monks" and your dining-room a " refectory" 
and your sets of rooms "cells" and to invite young- 
Oxford men to repeat the * Offices" and to observe the 
"Hours" of Rome and all this within walking dis 
tance of Oxford, and in a parish which you field as 
Fellow of Oriel. All this makes a difference. Besides, 
if you regarded Littlemore as merely " an Englishman s 
castle" how will you explain presently the fact that you 
will call Lockharfs secession a kind of a breach of 
triist " which will oblige yo^l to write to the Bishop about 
it, and to give up the service of the Church of England? 
What does it concern your Bishop the secession, against 
yoiir will, of a young man who happened to be in your 
" castle " ? " Heads of Houses, as mounted patrols, 
round my poor cottages." True, but you yourself ad 
mit, in the previous sentence, that there was " a flight 
of undergraduates"* inside your " poor cottages" You 
have yourself called the Heads the guides and go 
vernors " and " legitimate guardians " of these young 
men. May not the Heads have come to look after these 
undergraduates whom you (unwillingly) had attracted 
into your "poor cottages " ? " Have I not retreated from 
you ? . . . Why will you not let me die in peace 


Wounded brutes creep into some hole to die in, and no 

one grudges it them." Yes, reply the Oxford Heads, 

you have RETREATED : but is it not to ENTRENCHMENTS ? 

Can yoii honestly say that you did not retreat in order 

that you might "some day advance again within the 

Anglican Church " ? Did you not (secretly, and to 

your young men, at all events] call your Monastery 


"a hole to die in " ? 

" When the Warden of Wadham " says one of 
Newman s most friendly and genial biographers "a 
flourishing Evangelical, knocked one day at the door, 
Newman opened it himself: nothing so human as a 
housemaid entered the monastery where the inmates 
took the duty of door-opening for a week by turns. 
May I see the monastery ? insinuated the visitor. 
4 We have no monasteries here, replied Newman, and 
closed the door in his face less than civil." Perhaps. 
But, still more certainly, " less than true." Let us 
put ourselves in the position of the Rev. Dr. Symons 
as he retraced his ineffectual steps to Wadham College. 
Might he not naturally say to himself, and not without 
a touch of envious admiration, " What clever fellows 
these Tractarians are ! And what a thing it is to have 
what Newman has in such perfection a nice use of 
words ! Now if I had asked to see the povij or the 
4 monastic house, or the monastic institution, I sup 
pose he could not have said no to that. Well, these 
fellows are too sharp for us in words. The best way 
is to disregard words and tackle them with deeds. I 
wish I might get a chance." The following year will 
show how the Warden of Wadham got a chance, and 
used it. 


154. "Ask Pusey" 

"From the end of 1841, I was on my death-bed, 
as regards my membership with the Anglican Church, 
though at the time I became aware of it only by de 
grees " ; " it is a season," continues the Apologia, "when 
doors are closed and curtains drawn, and when the sick 
man neither cares nor is able to record the stages of 
his malady." It is a season, indeed, which even those 
who feel the utmost repugnance to Newman s doctrine, 
would pass over as quietly as possible, were it not that 
one of the most chaotic utterances of this chaotic 
period, the Essay on Ecclesiastical Miracles, cannot 
be thoroughly understood, or have sufficient allowance 
made for it, unless we appreciate the circumstances in 
which it was composed. His religious position, at this 
time, was enough to over-balance almost any mind. 
It was not even one of unstable equilibrium, it was 
no position at all ; it was simply falling. He had 
scoffed at "sound Church-of-Englandism " as "stand 
ing on one leg." But he, now, had no leg to stand on. 
He was attempting to carry with him, and to keep, 
for the present, from Rome, a number of young, en 
terprising, yet anxious and religiously-minded young 
men, upon a theory which avowed that he can have 
"a much more definite view of the promised inward 
Presence of Christ with us in the Sacraments, now 
that the outward notes of it are removed. And I am 
content to be with Moses in the desert, or with Elijah 
excommunicated from the Temple." What heretic 
might not use such language as this ? 

External distractions, as well, combined, one after 
another, so to unsettle him as to make him incapable 


of accurately recording the simplest incidents, even at 
the very time of their occurrence. Hearing, for ex 
ample, his Bishop s Charge, he describes it as " very 
favourable to us, or rather to our Cause, for some of 
us suffered," and speaks of some " delicate wording" 
as to Tract 90 for which he would " look anxiously in 
the Charge when published " : but he understood the 
Bishop to say "that he thought No. go s interpretation 
not the obvious, that he wished to take the obvious, 
that he was against all interpretations which made the 
Articles anything or nothing . . ." Then, three weeks 
afterwards, "The Bishop s charge gives great satisfac 
tion. It is plain which way he leaned, and everything 
I hear goes the same way. He means to pay me a 
visit at my new abode, not as a Bishop, but as a friend, 
out of kindness." His sister ventures just to express a 
doubt whether the Bishop and he quite understand one 
another. Returning certain papers which Newman 
had sent her, she says, " I should hope the Bishop 
quite understands you ; he seems to do so." That 
the Bishop, before visiting the " Monastic House," 
expressly informed the "Vicar" that he should visit 
it as a friend, and " not as a Bishop " is likely enough ; 
and it sounds wise, as well as kind. But it is suscept 
ible of a different explanation from Newman s. Com 
pare, however, with this complacent view of the Charge, 
that which he takes in a later letter : 

" Even my own Bishop has said that my mode of interpreting the 
Articles makes them mean anything or nothing. When I heard 
this delivered, I did not believe my ears. I denied to others that it 
was said . . . Out came the charge, and the words could not be 

Both impressions cannot be accurate. And the right 
view seems to be this, that every one who heard the 


Charge, except Newman, heard it right ; that Newman 
(owing to his sanguine prepossessions) heard it wrong*; 
that when his mistake was corrected, he contradicted 
those who were in the right ; that afterwards he found 
he had been himself wrong. 

Besides such anxieties as these and we should do 
Newman an injustice to suppose that even his most 
sanguine prepossessions were not often suddenly pierced 
by haunting doubts that he might be deluding himself 
there was now upon him the burden that he could 
least bear, the responsibility of spiritually supporting, 
steadying, and guiding, a number of young men of 
devout temperament and religious disposition, many of 
whom were unsettled and anxiously seeking for some 
solid footing. This was a very different task from his 
old parochial tasks in Littlemore leading the choir, 
lecturing girls on cleanness and neatness, and catechiz 
ing them upon the orders of angels which had in old 
days brought him such novel sensations of peace and 

Among these young men was one named Lockhart. 
He had been unsettled and impelled in a Romeward 
direction a few months before ; and he now* came to 
the Monastery by the desire of his parents that he 
might be kept from Rome. " I received him," says 
Newman, in a letter to his Bishop, on condition of 
his promising me, which he distinctly did, that he 
would remain quietly in our Church for three years." 
This was not the fact.* No promise was exacted till 
Lockhart had been two or three months in the Monas 
tery. The point is of importance as showing Newman s 
inaccuracy even in cases where he was bound to be 
most strictly accurate. But what follows in the letter 
is still more important. For it shows, either how igno- 


rant Newman must have been of the real inward feel 
ings of those under his charge, or else how the most 
shocking incidents one may almost call them "ghastly," 
but the Tractarian term is " uncomfortable " could slip 
out of his mind at times when it was inconvenient to 
remember them. Here is Newman s account (written 
in 1843) f Lockhart s last twelve months at Little- 

" A year has passed since that time, and, though I saw nothing in 
him which promised that he would eventually be contented with his 
present position, yet for the time his mind became as settled as one 
could wish, and he frequently expressed his satisfaction at being 
under the promise which I had exacted of him." 

" As settled as one could wish " that is Newman s 
account ; but the young man himself will presently tell 
us that he was "unconvinced," " perplexed," "dreadfully 
unhappy " ; in such a state of mind at the time of mak 
ing the promise that Newman himself never "expected" 
him to make it ; and that, among other causes for alarm, 
he perceived, " for the first time," that Newman, too, 
was " seriously shaken." How was it possible that the 
young man s mind could be " as settled as one could 
wish," after his appeal, " But, are you sure that you 
can give me absolution ? " had been answered in the 
manner thus described by Lockhart ? 

"Once I had been to confession to him; and in other ways he 
knew I was in great distress about the position of the Church of 
England ever since I had read Milner s End of Controversy. After 
I rose from my knees I said to him, But are you sure that you can 
give me absolution ? He did not speak for a few moments ; then 
he said in a tone of deep distress, Why will you ask me ? ask 
Pusey. This was the first indication I had received that he himself 
was seriously shaken as to his own position in the Anglican Church. 
He soon perceived that I was more unsettled than ever. One day 


he came to my room and said, very kindly but abruptly, as if it 
were something unpleasant that he must say ; * Now I must tell you 
that you must leave us at once, or else you must promise to remain 
with us for three years. * I answered, In my present state of mind 
I could not promise that. He said, Will you go and see Ward and 
have a talk with him ? I assented, and the next day I went by 
appointment into Oxford to see Ward at Balliol. I remember he 
took me for a walk. I think we talked for three hours, walking 
round and round the Parks, beyond Wadham College. In the end, 
I found myself without an answer, thoroughly puzzled, but uncon 
vinced. I went back to Newman, in a state of perplexed conscience ; 
but not seeing what else to do, and hesitating in my judgment about 
the duty of submission to Rome, since I saw that such a learned, 
wise, and saintly man as Newman did not see it to be his duty, I 
gave him a promise to remain for the stipulated three years at Little- 
more. Years after, I found that Newman had not expected me to 
have given the promise. I kept my promise for about a year, but I 
was dreadfully unhappy." 

This incident could not but be the precursor of a 
collapse. Ward could confidently bid Lockhart wait ; 
Newman could not feel sure about it, even when he bade 
it. Pusey could answer that deadly question about 
absolution with a Yes ; Newman felt more than half 
afraid that the answer ought to be No. Was it likely 
that the General in " Torres Vedras " could himself 
either judge rightly, or trust his own judgments, when 
he thus revealed his own want of confidence to his 
own followers, and when he shifted the responsibility 
of leading to this or that lieutenant, because they at all 
events could give some orders, while he could give 
none at all ? 

155. The Essay on Ecclesiastical Miracles 

It was during these distractions that Newman finished 
his Essay on Ecclesiastical Miracles. It seems to have 
weaned him. "I thought," he says, "it would never come 


to an end." It ought not to have come to an end when 
it did ; for it everywhere shows signs of insufficient 
labour. It is the kind of work one might have expected 
from one who makes it a principle that faith should 
" interpret " and " colour " evidence, and who regards 
the outrage of Reason as an acceptable sacrifice to God. 
Yet the distractions of the time have also stamped it 
with their peculiar mark a fitful alternation of un 
necessary concessions to unreasoning scepticism, with 
extravagant, audacious and aggressive demands upon 
credulity, all of them disguised and confused by a 
smoothly flowing rhetoric and by that subtle and shifty 
use of words to which, when he was hard pressed, he 
sometimes instinctively resorted, as an irrational animal 
resorts to its natural means of defence. 

After needlessly conceding that Ecclesiastical 
Miracles differ altogether from Scripture Miracles as to 
evidence, character, and object, he goes on to argue 
that, because God worked miracles with the object of 
planting the Church, He must also have worked them 
in the Church when planted and this, though one of 
the Fathers whom he himself quotes, uses this very 
illustration to explain why miracles, in later days, 
ought not to be expected. He admits that the great 
mass of ecclesiastical miracles are false : yet, instead of 
recognizing this as constituting some probability that 
all may be false, he proceeds (in almost every instance) 
to dilate on the antecedent probability of their truth. 
He professes to expect miracles to be as frequent in 
ecclesiastical history as deeds of prowess in a tale of 
adventure ; and upon those who will not accept his 
" principles " he pours contempt as " men of shallow 

Proceeding to " inquiries into particular miracles," he 


makes inquiries that are no inquiries at all ; omits 
reference to authorities ; refers to authorities that 
authorize nothing to his purpose ; misinterprets 
authorities ; sometimes even misquotes authorities ; 
neglects to draw obvious inferences from facts ; draws 
impossible inferences from other facts, or from no facts ; 
fails to see some difficulties ; evades others ; and some, 
which he can neither evade nor ignore, he overleaps 
by the device of indefinitely adjourning inquiry till 
evidence shall be forthcoming which is practically 
certain never to come. 

Those who have any respect for Newman should 
try to forget this Essay, or to remember it only as an 
utterance of delirium. It is a work that betrays even 
those who feel a liking for him and a psychological 
interest in him, as well as a deep sympathy with his 
gropings after truth, into expressions of impatience 
which they may afterwards (knowing all the facts) feel 
to be justified, if at all, not by the writing of the book, 
but by its republication. In later years Newman seems 
to have changed his views, or at all events his acts, in 
relation to Ecclesiastical Miracles. But the fervour of 
neophytism had to abate first. In 1848, though a 
Romanist, still in Anglo-Catholic credulity he sup 
ported a series of Lives of the Saints against the 
protests of some, his seniors in the Roman Church, 
who declared that these Lives were " reducing Religion 
to an unmeaning course of puerilities." Afterwards, 
under the shelter of an "if," he apparently withdrew 
from this position. " If," he wrote, "at that time I 
was betrayed into any acts which were of a more 
extreme character than I should now approve, the 
responsibility, of course, is mine ; but the impulse 
came, not from old Catholics or Superiors, but from 


men whom I loved and trusted, who were younger 
than myself." 

Possibly in this Essay we may trace the influence 
not only of harassing and wearing distractions, but 
also of one "younger than himself," who, from the 
first, had been drawn towards the Tractarian doctrine 
because it "did not minimize supernatural influences." 
This was Ward, the man who had been selected for 
that conversation from which Lockhart returned 
" mystified but unconvinced." Some things in New 
man s almost inexplicable Essay may perhaps be 
explained by supposing that the " Vicar," as well as 
the pupil, of the Littlemore Monastic House, was at that 
time having conversations with this younger and more 
advanced follower who knew, and cared, nothing for 
facts and history, but cared everything for a logical 
and consistent theory ; who was always suggesting to 
him that "if he said" this, he must, "surely also say 
more" ; and whom Newman already had in mind when 
he made the avowal in the Apologia: "It might so 
happen that my head got simply confused, by the very 
strength of the logic which was administered to 

o O 




156. Retractations 

MEANWHILE there were not wanting external Roman 
izing influences ; the more effective, because quiet. Dr. 
Russell, afterwards President of Maynooth, had called 
on Newman once or twice, passing through Oxford in 
1841 and 1842 ; a gentle, mild, unobtrusive and uncon- 
troversial pleader for Rome ; who took the wise course 
of letting Newman alone and giving him books to read. 
These began once more to recall to his mind the Doctrine 
of Development, as a means of justifying the differences 
between the Roman and the Apostolical Church. They 
also prepared him to find that, in the Church of Rome, 
no invocation of Saints, not even devotion to the 
Virgin Mary herself, is allowed to come between the 
soul and its Creator: "It is face to face, solus cum 
solo, in all matters between man and his God " a 
statement of which the value is an uncertain quantity 
until the author of it has defined " matters between man 
and his God," and has told us whether prayer is one 
of these. 

The sermons were now (1843) soon to cease, and 
their tone was soon to become a sufficient reason for 
their ceasing at all events in an Anglican Church. 


In the preceding autumn he had inculcated formal 
confession, not as expedient but as necessary. In his 
next Sermon, " The Principle of Continuity between 
the Jewish and Christian Churches " he led his hearers 
to the conclusion that " Catholic Christians must not be 
surprised if on submitting to Christianity as a religion 
and not as a mere philosophy, or an opinion, or a 
sentiment they are charged by those who do so treat 
it, with being Jews or even Pagans." Then the last 
breakwater against Rome the old Protestant imagina 
tion of Antichrist was swept away in " The Christian 
Church an Imperial Power " ; and he now sees in the 
Medieval Church the fulfilment of the Old Testament 
Prophecies. The year closes with an implied re 
tractation, from the pulpit, of the attacks that he had 
made against Rome. That, at least, seems the inter 
pretation to be put on the " hope that, whatever hard 
things some among us speak or have spoken against 
that Heavenly Stranger which sojourns on the earth," 
their sin of ignorance may yet be forgiven through the 
intercession of Christ, " considering how she is dis 
figured and deformed by strife and calamity." 

This was speedily followed by another, and more 
formal, Retractation (intended to appear in the begin 
ning of December but accidentally delayed) published 
anonymously in a newspaper in February 1843. 1 
this, he quotes and retracts several anti- Roman utter 
ances, extenuating his offence by saying that he had 
wished to follow the divines of his Church : " I said to 
myself .... I wish to throw myself into their system. 
While I say what they say, I am safe. Such views are 
necessary for our position." Yet he adds the fear that 
he was also influenced partly by "an impetuous 
temper," partly by "a hope of approving himself to 


persons " he respected, " and a wish to repel the 
charge of Romanism." The strange thing is that, 
even now, he does not deny that this hostile attitude 
was " necessary for his position " as a Tractarian. 
On the contrary, he adds, "If Rome is to be withstood, 
this can be done" in no other way. Even "the Little- 
more men"- one would have supposed must have 
perceived the inevitable inference : " Hostility to Rome 
is necessary for the Tractarian position. The Tractar 
ian leader gives up hostility to Rome. Therefore he 
gives up the Tractarian position." 

In the same month he preached his last University 
Sermon. The subject ominously (from Newman s 
point of view) Roman was " The Theory of Develop 
ments in Religious Doctrine." In it he accepts an 
exuberant dogma as an indication of religious life ; 
declares that, as we perceive things in absent fits and 
know them afterwards, so the Church may, for centuries, 
have latent dogmas not yet expressed ; and deprecates 
a churlish insistence on evidence, and adherence to 
bare fact in relation to alleged miracles : "If the alleged 
facts did not occur, they ought to have occurred (if I 
may so speak)." He seems now at last to have 
reached a point where he acknowledges that there is no 
choice between absolute credulity and absolute scep 
ticism or atheism. The arguments used by zealous 
and earnest men in religious questions, he says, are 
often " not the very ground on which they act ; " what 
if the whole series of impressions made on us through 
the senses be ... but a Divine economy suited to our 
need ! " Thus he leads his readers up to his well- 
known climax of contempt for the faculties bestowed on 
man for the acquisition of knowledge. He proposes 
to adjourn to another world, in which we shall have 


some other than " our present senses," the consideration 
of the relative truth of the scientific and the Scriptural 
statements about the rest, or motion, of the sun : 

" Scripture, for instance, says that the sun moves and the earth is 
stationary ; and science, that the earth moves, and the sun is com 
paratively at rest. How can we determine which of these opposite 
statements is the very truth, till we know what motion is ? If our 
idea of motion be but an accidental result of our present senses, 
neither proposition is true, and both are true." 

Thus, while admitting that we are " forced " to " trust 
our senses," he leads us to distrust our hope of attain 
ing " substantial truth " through them. He then ex 
tends this dreary scepticism to religious truth as well : 
11 What," he says, " is true of reliance on our senses, is 
true of all the information which it has pleased God 
to vouchsafe to us, whether in nature or in grace :" 
" What have we to care whether we are, or are not, 
given to divide substance from shadow ? " So, by 
degrees, always avoiding the ugly word "false" disguis 
ing the beauty of the word "truth" under such terms 
as "philosophical" or "substance," and asking us 
what it matters " whether our deductions are philoso 
phical or no, provided they are religious " he lures us 
on, and himself too, to give up the contest against lies 
and legends, to swallow anything that will make us feel 
comfortable, and to say, " What does it matter if our 
conclusions -axz. false, provided they are religious?" 

To this bad and base conclusion he prefaced one of 
the most magnificent of his poetic outbursts. It was 
an eulogium on music. In it, the reader of a modern 
edition of the sermons will find these words : " There 
are seven notes in the scale ; make them fourteen ; yet 
what a slender outfit for so vast an enterprise ! " Why 
this which seems mere rhetoric " make them four- 



teen " ? The answer is to be found in the first 
edition t which shows that the words originally ran, 
" There are fourteen notes in the scale " : " What do 
you mean," writes his sister, " by fourteen notes ? Do 
you mean the twelve semitones as some suggest ? I 
am indignant at the idea, and think you knew what you 
were saying." It was a small matter, but not an 
accident either. It reveals the double nature of the 
man. As a poet, he speaks to our hearts without fear 
of contradiction from fact ; and we accept his assurance 
that the sounds of which he speaks are indeed "out 
pourings of eternal harmony" that have "escaped 
from some higher sphere," expressions of " the living 
laws of the Divine Governance or the Divine Attri 
butes." But when it comes to the simplest fact, he 
cannot be trusted. To note this in a common-place 
man of general inaccuracy, would be tedious and 
absurd. But to note it in a man of soaring faculties who 
habitually tramples upon facts, and is likely to lead 
others to do the same, is not only useful as a warning, 
but needful if we would understand the man himself, 
and realise how by long practice, he was so strengthen 
ing and enlarging his inaccurate habit that, in his moods 
of excitement, if he was forced to mention facts, he 
sometimes really did what his sister denies, as impos 
sible : he did not " know what he was saying." 

And now comes his last word from the pulpit of the 
University of Oxford : and it is, in effect, this : that, 
when we know most about God, we know, in reality, 
nothing as it is. " The most subtle questions of the 
schools" may have " a real meaning"; and, since no 
question at all about God can be despised, all such 
questions arc sacred, and ail are to be received on 
authority.* Conceding to the sceptic that even the 


Catholic confessions of faith do not adequately 
represent their divine verities, he would apparently 
apply this concession equally to all statements about 
God, not only, for example, to attempts to answer the 
question, " Was God anywhere before Creation ? " but 
even to the question " In what sense is the Holy 
Spirit Divine Love ? " 

This is of a piece with his previous saying 
that the doctrine of Episcopal Succession may 
turn out to be as important as that of the Unity of 
God. No doctrine, not even that of the Fatherhood 
of God, seems to him to have naturally and rightly 
received special commendation to our faith from its 
intrinsic moral beauty and harmony with our highest 
aspirations. Hence he finally drives everyone to 
choose between believing in nothing, and believing in 
the formal statements of the so-called Athanasian 
Creed. In a long string of if-clauses he tells us that if 
it is right to apply any attributes to God, if we may 
consider Him other than simple Unity, "if we know 
anything of Him if we may speak of Him in any way 
if we may emerge from Atheism or Pantheism into 
religious faith, if we would have any saving hope, 
any life of truth and holiness within us, this only do 
we know, with this only confession we must begin and 
end our worship that the Father is the One God, the 
Son the One God, and the Holy Ghost the One God ; 
and that the Father is not the Son, the Son not the 
Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost not the Father." 

^ 157. "Is not my present position . . . a treachery 
towards the Church ? " 

All through the Lent of 1843 Newman and Keble 
had been " keeping in mind " the question of resigning 

z 2 


St. Mary s. In other words, they had been asking for 
guidance about it. An impatient layman may be 
reminded, by this, of the story of the Greek, who 
consulted Apollo whether he should return a deposit 
to the man who had entrusted him with it. The god, 
says Herodotus, was offended with the consulter, and 
replied that, if he was unwilling, he need not return it, 
but that the perjurer s race would be blotted out. The 
man apologized to the god and the deposit was 
returned. But the curse fell. 

Yet the parallel would not be quite a fair one, 
though it suggests some thoughts that are not unfair. 
The great difference is, that in this case the " deposit " 
was a public one, a "deposit" entrusted by the 
English Church ; and it might be a fair question, for 
some time, whether one s duty to the English Church 
as it might soon be, the ideal Church, might not over- 
weigh one s duty to the English Church as it was, the 
Church of the Bishops, who, one after another, had 
been charging against Tract 90. But Newman s mind 
had been developing so rapidly of late that the 
question, for an honourable man in full possession of 
his senses, had really ceased to be a question. The 
pity of it was, that, instead of acting upon his own 
conscience, he still leaned on Keble s ; and Keble, who 
had been too long kept in the dark * or in twilight, 
was not now able to follow Newman s imaginative 
convictions, or to realise his deeply-rooted distrust of 
the Church he was professing to serve. 

Meanwhile, on the side of the Oxford authorities, 
some pressure was being put upon the Tractarian 
party to force them to declare their opinions, or disavow 
them, and to prevent them from entering the ranks of 
the clergy. Young men now found it necessary to 


choose between Tractarianism and a Fellowship ; 
candidates for orders were refused testimonials ; 
prospects of country livings, and perhaps of marriage 
too, had to be given up, if men were still to follow 
Newman. Many ceased to follow him. But those 
who remained became more bitter than ever. 
Celibacy was now a necessity for them. Naturally, 
therefore, they exalted it as a privilege. Orthodox 
Anglicanism had cast them out. Naturally they 
became more than ever heterodox and Roman, and the 
cry of " Tendimus in Latiitm" rose up louder than 
ever in their diminished ranks. Coming from his 
friends, this impulse would move Newman Rome- 
wards ; coming from enemies, it would drive him back. 
His resignation of St. Mary s would be a triumph to 
the Liberals and would give Protestants an occasion 
to blaspheme. 

Much of this has left its traces in the few remaining 
sermons of 1843. The preacher is now addressing 
himself mainly to semi- Romanists, to persecuted 
and somewhat bitter enthusiasts ; and if we put 
aside the fact that they were not right or fit sermons 
for a clergyman to preach in an Anglican pulpit, 
supposing he had been in full control of his mind and 
conscience they are interesting reading, though some 
what painful. A brief review of them will prepare us 
for the consummation. 

In " The Apostolical Christian," he tells us that the 
obvious characteristic of a Bible-Christian is to be 
"without worldly ties or objects," and cautions the men 
of Littlemore against repining under persecution. 
They are to rejoice, but with " the refined joy of the 
mortified and persecuted." Then " the humble monk 
and the holy nun " are held up as " Christians after the 


very pattern given us in Scripture" : and it is implied 
that, if Christ returned to earth, He would find in them 
pre-eminently "the features of the Christians whom 
He and His Apostles left behind them." The next 
sermon is difficult to criticize, because Newman inserted 
in it, when it was published (without differentiating by 
brackets or other means), sentences that ought not to 
have been, and were not, delivered from the pulpit. 
Among others, a sentence about " sacramental con 
fession " and " the celibacy of the clergy " as tending 
to make the clergy " rulers " and the laity " subjects " 
not very unnaturally led Kingsley to the conclusion 
that Newman was unfaithful to the English Church. 
In thinking thus, Kingsley was thinking what Newman 
himself privately, about the same time, confessed to be 
the truth. I italicize the following words, which prove 
this. Less than three months later, he wrote to Keble 
that the Bishop s Charges were not only samples of 
the non-Catholic teaching of the Church of England 
but also " protests and witnesses to" his "conscience 
against his unfaithfulness to the English Church." 
And, when Keble instead of replying, "In that case 
resign at once " objected to his resigning, lest it 
should propel him towards Rome, he answered, " Is 
not my present position a cruelty, as well as a 
treachery, towards the Church?" If Newman felt 
about himself these apprehensions of " unfaithfulness" 
and " treachery," I do not see why others, who did not 
personally know him, could be blamed for believing the 
same thing ; and the belief would be still more justified 
by the additional Romanizing utterances, printed in 
his sermons, without the slightest notice to his readers 
that they were not delivered from the pulpit. 

But to return to our summary. Of all Newman s 


gloomy sermons that perhaps is wrapped in the darkest, 
the most timorous, and the most self-absorbed gloom, 
in which he introduces us to Lent as " that solemn 
season of the year when, for a time, we separate from 
each other, as far as may be, and from the other bless 
ings which God has given us " ; reminds us that " to us 
there are but two beings in the whole world, God and 
ourselves " ; and draws a picture of some future Judg 
ment " which mercy tempers not " ; under which " every 
one will have to think of himself" ; and by thinking of 
which, beforehand, we hope to mitigate the terrors when 
"that dreadful season" comes. In another sermon 
of this period we learn why we Christians ought thus to 
cringe before that Judgment or Day of the Lord, 
to which the Prophets of Israel looked forward with 
joy and gladness. The reason is this, that God s 
"anger" is really an "economy." There is no such 
thing in reality. We do not know that He is " angry " 
at oppression, injustice, mendacity, and outrage. The 
notion of His " anger" is as childish as the notion that 
He has limbs : " as if He could be angry who is not 
touched by evil !" The inference would be that He 
may^-0 through the form of being angry with disbelief 
in Episcopal succession just as much as He may go 
through the form of anger against us for adultery or 
murder. But this " form of anger " may be hell-fire. 
We must not, therefore, trifle with Him any more than 
with a fly-wheel or a Nasmyth s hammer ; the hammer 
will crush us, in spite of our best intentions, if we do 
not keep to rules. So here. We must not trust our con 
science, but authority, if we would escape God s 
punishments. We know nothing whatever about 
His motive behind them. 

As Lent draws to a close, and nothing is yet 


determined about the question of resigning, we find 
him once more referring to his favourite Scripture 
analogy between himself and Samuel. Samuel had 
received two calls from God. So had he. But it is 
not " always easy to hear His voice ; " " Samuel did not 
know it till Eli told him." Those who can read 
between the lines discern his meaning. Three is a 
sacred number ; Samuel was called thrice ; might not he, 
too, expect to be called thrice, and wait patiently till 
the third call came ? And, as Samuel obeyed Eli, 
so ought not he to obey Keble, in deciding when, and 
how, to act in accordance with the Divine call ? 

But one more sermon remains before the last. It 
warns himself and the young men of Littlemore (Lock- 
hart perhaps, especially) against individual action, 
against single desertions to Rome. " Every spirit 
which professes to come to us alone and not to others " 
is " a private spirit of error ; " if feelings are " violent, 
abrupt, fitful, partial," we may suspect them. Then, 
after bidding us raise " the level of religion in our own 
hearts," for from "the corruption of hearts" springs 
" the division of Churches," there follows a long and 
florid exhortation to prefer English scenery to foreign, 
by way of suggesting that the Anglican Church is to be 
preferred to the Roman, for the present. The young 
disciples of Littlemore are told that, during their 
period of patient expectation, their reward is the 
" water of life," which they can take from " the green 
meadow and the calm full stream " (of the Anglican 
Church of England). They are to leave "the high 
mountain and the awful solitude and the sun-bright 
clime, and the rich and varied scene " to " be the boast 
of the foreigners and the heritage of the South " ; and 
then,finally, "Let us be filled with the fruits of righteous- 


ness . . . and let us not doubt that if in anything we 
be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this. 

158. " I think the Church of Rome the Catholic 

What did Lockhart think of all this, Lockhart who 
had asked for absolution and had received an injunction 
to "go to Pusey " ? Did he think of the plain citizen 
in Shakespeare s Coriolamis, who, when he was longing 
for food, received from Menenius Agrippa a pretty fable, 
and declined to be " fobbed off with a tale " ? Or did 
he think of the more familiar contrast in the New 
Testament, and mutter that all these metaphors were 
stones for bread ? pretty, sparkling stones, but still, 
stones and nothing else ? And what else could the 
preacher himself call them, when he came to think over 
what he had said and to contrast it with what he felt ? 
Must he not have soon confessed with sore contrition, 
when the rhetorical heat had passed away, that in these 
florid inanities he had touched at last the very bottom 
of even his potentialities of intellectual self-abasement, 
and that he could make no more such sacrifices to 
Keble and to ideal Anglicanism ? 

External causes would aid this just reflection. Pusey 
had been "delated" for a High Anglican Sermon. 
Only the day before Newman s recommendation to 
prefer English scenery to foreign, his friend was sus 
pended from preaching for three years by six doctors- 
one being that same Rev. Dr. Symons in whose face 
Newman had slammed the door of the " Monastic In 
stitution." Here there was not (as in the case of Tract 
90) an anonymous publication ; and Pusey had a moral 
right to be heard. But the statutes allowed the 


doctors to deny him a hearing and to condemn him 
without giving reasons. It was iniquitously unjust ; and 
Newman hoped, not without reason, that the measure 
might provoke a reaction. But such a hold, now, had the 
suspicion of Tractarian "Jesuitism" taken on hostile 
and even neutral minds that I find no mention made of 
any public protest against the act. A few days later, 
Lord Ashley, afterwards Lord Shaftesbury, held a meet 
ing in London to petition the Duke of Wellington, as 
Chancellor of the University, to " put down Puseyism 
in Oxford." Thus the Tractarian hopes vanished, and 
the tacit acquiescence in this injustice might well serve 
as another proof to Newman that the Anglican Church 
was past helping at least by him. Then, too, came 
fresh Charges from the Bishops, and, as the finishing 
stroke, toward the end of August, Lockhart, spite of 
his promise, seceded to the Church of Rome. 

" You may fancy how sick it makes me," wrote 
Newman to Keble on the day on which he heard this 
last news. The weight of the blow will be felt at once 
by those who have appreciated the fervour of his desire 
to keep the Party together, ready for a joint secession. 
Months ago, he ought to have resigned St. Mary s, but 
an " omen " was needed to give him the requisite im 
pulse. Now it had come, and he resolved to obey it. 
To his sister he gives reasons for the step. But they 
are all omitted in the letter as published. Perhaps the 
Editor attached most importance to what followed the 
"reasons" : "... These are reasons enough to 
make me give up St. Mary s, but, were there no other, 
this feeling would be sufficient, that I am not so zealous 
a defender of the established and existing system of 
religion as I ought to be for such a post." To her 
expostulations he replies that he wonders his late 


letters have not prepared her for the step. Perhaps 
he hardly knew how his desire to spare his sister pain 
and his own natural indirectness of expression, had left 
her in the dark as to his religious development. Two 
advisers, he tells her, concur in it. One of them, 
Rogers, had told him he need publish no reasons for 
it, and had said, in effect, " Anyone but you would have 
taken the step before." To James Mozley, in a letter 
headed " confidential," he gives only one cause of 
resignation but it is "the real cause." For once, he 
uses frank, unmistakable language. 

" I hope I am right in speaking openly to you, which I have not 
done but to a very few, but now I will tell you the real cause which 
others besides those to whom I have said it may guess but which 
(as far as I recollect) I have only told to Rogers, H. Wilberforce, 
R. Wilberforce, and Keble. 

" The truth then is, I am not a good son enough of the Church of 
England to feel I can in conscience hold preferment under her. I 
love the Church of Rome too well. 

" Now please burn this, there s a good fellow, for you sometimes 
let letters lie on your mantelpiece." 

To the same effect he wrote to Manning after his 
resignation, not indeed at first, but after being " pressed " 
by the latter. His first letter to Manning the Apologia 
admits to be "ad hominem" In plainer English, he so 
told a part of the truth as to conceal the real truth. 
It is instructive as a specimen of Newman s occasional 
style. In this first letter he finds it "most difficult to 
bring out in brief, or even in extenso, any just view " 
of his " feelings and reasons " for resignation, but 
proceeds to " the nearest approach " he " can give to a 
general account of them." He then mentions the re 
pudiation of Tract 90 by the Bishops ; the repeated 
censures of his own Bishop ; and the fact that, as " the 


English Church is showing herself intrinsically and 
radically alien from Catholic principles," he feels " the 
difficulties of defending her claims to be a branch of 
the Catholic Church." He concludes, " I cannot deny 
that many other independent circumstances " have led 
him to the same conclusion, but "it is not worth while 
entering into " them. His last words are, " I do not 
say all this to everybody, as you may suppose ; but I 
do not like to make a secret of it to you." 

" All this," however, did not satisfy Manning. He 
pressed Newman again. And, this time, the latter did 
not find it difficult" to give " in brief " a perfectly 
"just view " of his " feelings and reasons " : 

" I must tell you then frankly, (but I combat arguments which to 
me, alas, are shadows,) that it is not from disappointment, irritation, 
or impatience, that I have, whether rightly or wrongly, resigned St. 
Mary s ; but because I think the Church of Rome the Catholic 
Church, and ours not part of the Catholic Church, because not in 
communion with Rome ; and because I feel that I could not honestly 
be a teacher in it any longer." 

Still, when he wrote to Mozley, the precise time for 
resigning had been left undetermined. In the Apologia 
he connects the step too closely with Lockhart s seces 
sion. " I felt it impossible to remain any longer in the 
service of the Anglican Church, when such a breach of 
trust, however little I had to do with it, would be laid 
at my door." No doubt, that incident would affix a 
popular stigma to Littlemore, and indirectly to the 
Bishop, as sheltering the " Anglo-Catholic monastery ; " 
but it does not appear to^Jiave been his fundamental 
reason for resigning. ~"He varies about it. On first 
hearing of Lockhart s affair, he told his sister that it 
would very likely fix the time of his resigning. In his 
frank letter to James Mozley, he says that this " matter 


of Lockhart s .... may have the effect of delaying" 
his resignation ! This is bewildering. But "omens," 
perhaps, are apt to bewilder. Possibly it may have 
suggested itself to him that, by resigning St. Mary s, 
he would appear to identify himself with Lockhart, 
instead of disavowing him. Thus, Lockhart s seces 
sion may have been converted into an "omen," not 
for resigning, but for retaining his post. Or the delay 
may have been again caused by Keble ; who now, once 
more, forbade him to resign immediately. Newman 
was all submission : " I am ready still to keep St. 
Mary s if you think best." He proceeds, however, to 
give three reasons for resigning at once one of which 
is that "Lockhart s affair" gives a reason (not the 
reason) for resigning, " as being a very great scandal." 
He adds : " Should you think it advisable for me to 
retain St. Mary s awhile, would you object to my try 
ing to get some one to take my duty at Oxford entirely, 
i.e. sermons and all " ? 

159. Resignation of St. Marys 

There would seem to be something very unsound in 
the system of regular confession and regular spiritual 
directorship, when such a man as Newman could, on 
one and the same day, write that he was not " a good 
son enough of the Church of England to feel that he V 
could hold preferment under her," and yet consent, if 
his spiritual director required it, to hold such prefer 
ment indefinitely. The thought of resignation had 
been before him for now four years. He had declared, 
before Tract 90, that he would not hold office in the 
Church unless his interpretation of the Articles was 
allowed. So far as it could speak through the Bishops, 


the Church had not allowed it ; and he had recognized 
the fact.* On his own. showing, he had no right to an 
Anglican pulpit, unless he could honestly attack Rome 
from it ; and this, for the last three or four years, he 
had felt he could not do. His conscience had for 
some months past misgiven him that he was " unfaith 
ful " and " treacherous " to his nominal Church ; and 
yet, even now, he was "still ready to keep St. Mary s * 
if his spiritual director " thought best " ! 

However, the end was at hand. Keble s reply to 
Newman s appeal of i September does not appear ;. 
but on 7 September Newman asked his Bishop s leave 
to resign. If the Bishop gave an immediate assent, 
Newman d d not act upon it at once. Perhaps he 
shrank from action when the moment arrived ; with 
him, it was always "a nuisance taking steps." Pos 
sibly, the delay may have been caused by legal diffi 
culties.* It would be interesting to know whether it 
was the removal of these, or whether it was some 
"sign" in the way of a dream, or nightly unrest (in 
one whose rest, as a rule, was not disturbed at nights, 
even in the most critical times), that finally drove 
him to action, as he thus records it in his "chrono 
logical Notes " : 

" September 17. Preached in the afternoon at St. Mary s. 

"September 18. Had no sleep last night, went to town, to 
Doctor s Commons : resigned St. Mary s before a Notary. 
* * * * 

"September 25. Littlemore commemoration; Pusey admin 
istered sacrament ; H. W. came ; I preached No. 604, my last 

His last subject was "The Parting of Friends," and 
his text was the text of his first sermon, when he first 
went forth to do the work of the Gospel " Man goeth 


forth to his work and to his labour until the evening." 
Now " the evening " had come. The pathos of this, 
his last utterance from an English pulpit, almost dis 
arms criticism. Yet, beautiful though it is, it is not 
fair. It is neither fair to the Church of England nor 
to his own friends. On the Church (no doubt with 
what seemed good motives) he had made an experi 
ment which might have resulted in a disastrous schism ; 
yet against it he now inveighs as the Virgin of Israel 
that bears children and dares not "own them": " O 
my mother, how is it that whatever is generous in 
purpose, and tender or deep in devotion, thy flower 
and thy promise, falls from thy bosom and finds no 
home within thy arms ? " Did he forget, when he said 
this, that he was leaving Keble and Pusey and Bowden 
and Rogers and Church and the Mozleys behind him ? 
or did he assume that they would follow ? Many a 
Scripture parallel does he draw to the bitter close of 
his Anglican toils. But his principal parallel he finds 
in Christ. All the other parallels appear to him " but 
memorials of the Son of Man, when His work and His 
labour were coming to an end." He "was persecuted 
by the rulers in Israel" ; He "was deserted by His 
friends" ; He thirsted " in a barren and dry land" ; 
"heavily did He leave, tenderly did He mourn over, 
the country and city which rejected Him." 

If there is in all this some trace of the querulousness 
which makes Newman always find his enemies in the 
wrong when he is worsted in a conflict that he has 
himself provoked ; if there is just a touch of that 
egotism which common, perhaps, to most religious 
Reformers caused the Prophet of old to cry that he, 
even he, was left alone and men sought his life, and 
which induced the author of Tract 90 to view the 



condemnation of it by the Bishops as almost branding 
the Church of England with the stigma of heresy- 
such feelings are effaced by the passionate and yearning 
affectionateness of the final farewell. 

Here and there, perhaps, there is still a suggestion 
of reproach : as when he speaks of the parting of 
Orpah who "kissed Naomi and went back to the 
world. There was sorrow in the parting, but Naomi s 
sorrow was more for Orpah s sake than her own. 
Pain there would be, but it was the pain of a wound, 
not the yearning regret of love. It was the pain we 
feel when friends disappoint us and fall in our esteem." 
But this is rapidly succeeded by the thought of Jona 
than, in whom he sees Froude, " that young man " " of 
a beautiful countenance and goodly to look at," and the 
sad moment when his friend, " whom these good gifts 
had gained, looked upon him for the last time." Then 
comes the farewell of the Apostle, when the elders "wept 
sore and fell on Paul s neck and kissed him, sorrowing 
most of all for the words which he spake, that they 
should see his face no more." Then after an outburst 
of reproach upon the unnatural mother who was casting 
him off he checks himself and resorts to Scriptural 
exhortation, since " its language veils our feelings while 
it gives expression to them." But last of all, breaking 
through that "veil," and, for the first time perhaps, allow 
ing personal feelings to reveal themselves in the pulpit, 
he pours forth a passionate petition in which the sensi 
tive avoidance of "I" and "you" gives a tinge of 
characteristic indirectness that contrasts with the wistful 
yearning for direct expression as if the preacher hoped, 
against his theory, that for once, his soul and the souls 
of those who loved him, might touch, and really hold 
communion together* imploring them that if there were 


any who knew " anyone " whose lot it had been to help 
them toward God, or if what he had said or done had 
ever made them take an interest in him and feel well 
inclined towards him, they would remember such an 
one in time to come, though they heard him not, " and 
pray for him, that in all things he may know God s 
will, and at all times he may be ready to fulfil it." 

VOL. n A A 



1 60. Proposed censure of Tract 90 

A WEARY two years of uneventful waiting followed 
before Newman found peace in his rightful home. 
During all this time he was waiting for a "sign," or 
at least for something that might give him the neces 
sary heat and internal impulse without which he always 
remained hesitant and doubtful, chilled by the breath 
of mere intellectual conviction, finding it "a nuisance 
to take steps." 

Uneventful for him, the years were full of interest 
for the now leaderless Tractarians, and especially for 
their advanced section. Provoked by the suspension 
of* Pusey, they determined to prevent Convocation, if 
possible, from giving the usual formal sanction to the 
appointment of Dr. Symons as Vice-Chancellor. Re 
garded as a Party move, this was foolish. It savoured 
of novelty ; which was enough to deter many of the 
clergy from supporting it. The innovators were de 
feated by a majority of nearly five to one. This was 
in the autumn of 1844. Meantime, during the Long 
Vacation, Ward had published a once well-known book 
called The Ideal of the Christian Church, in which 
the author had attempted to bring out the full logical 


conclusions resulting from the theory that faith, and 
not the intellect, is to be applied to the facts on which 
the Christian religion is supposed to be based. This 
"almost-forgotten" volume says the author of the 
Oxford Movement " assumes that the Roman Church, 
and only the Roman Church, satisfies the conditions of 
what a Church ought to be, and it argues, in detail, 
that the English Church, in spite of its professions, 
utterly and absolutely fails to fulfil them." But instead 
of avowing his consequent determination to leave the 
latter and enter the former, he claimed to hold his 
position in the English Church, avowing and teaching 
Roman doctrine : 

" We find (he exclaims) oh, most joyful, most wonderful, most un 
expected sight ! we find the whole cycle of Roman doctrine gradually 
possessing numbers of English Churchmen. . . . Three years have 
passed since I said plainly that in subscribing the Articles I renounce 
no Roman doctrine ; yet I retain my fellowship which I hold on the 
tenure of subscription, and have received no ecclesiastical censure in 
any shape." 

This was too much. It was a kind of excess and 
parody of Newman s aggressive style. It would have 
been too much even if Archbishop Whately had not 
written a letter which was read at the Board of Heads 
of Houses exhorting them to action. Dr. Symons, 
the anti-Tractarian Vice-Chancellor for 1845, was not 
likely to need pressing. In the first outburst of their 
indignation, the Committee appointed by the heads 
proposed, not only to deprive Ward of his degrees 
and condemn his book, but also to impose a new test 
on all Oxford men. The Statutes, it seems, already 
allowed the Vice-Chancellor to call on any member 
of the University at any time to prove his orthodoxy 
afresh by subscribing the Articles. But this, of course, 

A A 2 


was useless, as against Ward. He was prepared to 
sign them all at a moment s notice, but to sign them in 
a " non-natural sense" The Committee of the Heads 
therefore proposed to prevent subscription from thus 
being reduced to a mockery, by adding a declaration 
to be henceforth made by the subscriber, that he took 
them in the sense in which " they were both first 
published and were now imposed by the University." 

It was not for the advocates of tests to blame this 
" declaration "; which was simply an attempt (though 
not perhaps well expressed) to save the test from 
becoming a nonentity. The Tractarians had vehe 
mently refused to allow Dissenters to enter the Univer 
sity without subscribing the Articles ; but, of course, 
every Dissenter could (if he wished) sign the Articles 
in a " non-natural " sense. Therefore by protesting 
against this Declaration, because it would exclude 
themselves the Tractarians were virtually protesting 
against the exclusion of Dissenters. But fortunately 
the Liberals since they objected to tests altogether- 
could protest with a clear mind and a good conscience. 
The Tractarians joined in their cry and raised it speed 
ily to a shriek. In vain did the Board explain that 
they wished to enforce, not a new test, but simply 
honesty. There was a general feeling, perhaps, that 
the time might come when all such tests might be 
allowed to die out, and that it was best not to revivify 
them. Anyhow, every one was against the Board, 
and the Board gave way. 

Defeated at this point, the Board tried to snatch a 
victory at another. They wished to enforce the 
principle of non-evasive subscription. But who, or 
what, had first suggested " evasion " ? Was it not 
Tract 90 which had been condemned by the Board 


itself for this very offence ? Why not take this oppor 
tunity, then, of obtaining the sanction of Convocation 
to the previous condemnation passed by the Heads 
of Houses ? Why censure the pupil when the master 
went uncensured ? The author of the Oxford Move 
ment imputes cowardice to the Heads for not appeal 
ing to Convocation before : " They dared not risk an 
appeal to the University at large." The charge, as I 
have shown, was baseless. But, no doubt, it had been 
often flung in their face ; and this might, not un 
naturally, be one of their motives now : Why not crush 
this falsehood, once for all, by appealing to Convoca 
tion now ? They determined to do this. A circular 
was issued, asking signatures for a requisition which 
requested the Board to propose a formal censure, not 
on Newman himself, but on "the principles of Tract 
90." So far as was known, it received between 400 
and 500 signatures ; but it was withheld by the Vice- 
Chancellor from those who had an official right to 
inspect it; and the proposal was hurried forward in 
spite of remonstrances. Hereupon the Proctors an 
nounced their intention to veto it ; but, as they were 
Newman s personal friends, the Heads assumed that 
their action would have little weight. The prospect of 
a veto however was regarded with satisfaction by the 
younger Liberals, such as Stanley and Jowett, as well 
as by Tractarians. When Convocation met, Ward s 
book was condemned by 777 to 386 ; he was deprived 
of his degrees by 569 to 51 1 ; but the censure of Tract 
90 was averted by the Proctorial veto. But for this 
impediment, the numbers of those who signed the 
requisition so hastily circulated, indicate that the 
resolution of censure would have been carried. Nor 
would it have been unjustifiable. The author ot 


Tract 90 was at Littlemore ; but its "principles" were 
in Oxford and in England ; and it was "the principles 
of No. 90" (not the author) that Convocation was to be 
invited to condemn. 

Still the censure would have been at this time a 
mistake. Three years before, when Newman went up 
to " Torres Vedras " perhaps even two years before, 
while he was still Vicar of St. Mary s it would not 
have been unseasonable. But now that he had by his 
own act virtually pronounced himself unable honestly 
to sign the Articles in any natural sense, and had con 
sequently resigned his position in the Church of Eng 
land, it would have been hard, and almost cruel, to 
pass a judgment even on his " principles " which he 
himself had passed already. The good sense of Oxford 
soon recognized this. There was much to provoke the 
authorities, even now ; much that might have induced 
them to renew the proposal of censure after the present 
Proctors vacated office. Newman himself sanguine 
as ever had spoken of the possible " throwing out of 
the Test " as " a virtual repeal of the censure of 
No. 90" passed by the Heads of Houses in 1841 : and 
if such language was current in Oxford it was natural 
that the Oxford authorities should wish to refute it by 
an unmistakable act. Nor was it likely that they 
would tamely submit to charges of being " afraid to 
appeal to Convocation," when they could obtain in ten 
days between four and five hundred written promises 
of support. However, the wiser heads in the Hebdo 
madal Board recognized that enough had been done : 
and through their temperance there was averted that 
condemnation the fear of which, four years ago, had 
caused Keble and Newman so much alarm. 


16 1. Waiting for a "sign" 

To most of this Oxford stir, Newman, at Littlemore, 
had been as one dead. What to him were Hebdo 
madal Boards, and censures of Tract 90, when he was 
face to face with God, solus citm solo, thinking out 
that problem which alone has results for eternity, " what 
shall I do to be saved ?" From the time when he had 
resigned his living in 1843, ne was simply concerned 
with his own salvation. Himself unsettled, he gave 
up the hope of settling and guiding others. " Je 
mourrai seul " became henceforth his watchword : 
" My own soul," he says, " was my first concern, and 
it seemed an absurdity to my reason to be converted 
in partnership." 

From this, it would appear that he had (1843) given 
up the notion that there would be a great and united 
Tractarian secession. This being the case, his own 
theory demanded that he should wait for some " sign " 
not perhaps a miracle, but something of the nature 
of a supernatural coincidence or special providence. It 
was not alone the precedents of the New Testament 
that necessitated this. It was needful for his nature. 
He required something to convert his intellectual con 
victions into that kind of faith which might be called 
certitude. Bowden, his other self, was now (1843) 
near his death. In touching language Newman records 
his loving determination not to communicate his own 
unsettlement to his dying friend : " I could not say, 
Go to Rome ; else I should have shown him the 
way. Yet I offered myself for his examination. One 
day he led the way to my speaking out ; but, rightly 
or wrongly, I could not respond. My reason was, * I 


have no certainty on the matter myself. To say I 
think is to tease and to distress, not to persuade." In 
the autumn of the following year Bowden died, and 
Newman made this note, " I sobbed bitterly over his 
coffin, to think that he left me still dark as to what 
the way of truth was, and what I ought to do to please 
God and fulfil His will." He adds, " I had expected 
that his last illness would have brought light to my 
mind, as to what I ought to do. It brought none." 
His "strong view " in favour of Rome remained just 
what it was : but he could not act on it. He was not 
" certain." He could only say " I think." 

With this explanation, the otherwise inexplicable 
delay from 1843 to 1845 is tolerably clear. It did not 
arise from the desire to spare the feelings of those who 
loved him, deeply though he was distressed by their 
distress. Even those dearest to him he could not help, 
now, regarding as instruments, as mirrors in which 
he might discern some token of the will of God. 
Were they prepared for his secession ? That might be 
a " sign " that he might now depart. Were they 
unprepared ? That might be a " sign " that he was 
given over to "private judgment," that he was 
" wilful," yielding to "gloom and ill temper " instead of 
patiently waiting for the Lord s time. The Via Media 
had been pulverized long ago, and " Samaria "* had 
been set up on its ruins. But now, " Samaria," too, 
had vanished. The stir and din of the Tractarian 
conflict were to him what the noise of battle would 
have been to Achilles drowning in the Scamancler. 
Even to his favourite, James Mozley, starting the 
Christian Remembrancer in 1844, he can but wish 
success, and will "be pleased to find " that Mozley has 
" found a basis of view on which to go." As for 


Ward s main position in the Ideal " that a Church 
may be utterly without the gift of teaching, yet 
possessed of the gift of the Sacraments " Newman 
" cannot see" it. When consulted on the opposition 
to the election of the Vice-Chancellor, he has nothing 
to say ; he cannot get his mind to grasp these things \ 
" My own position is so different that I cannot throw 
myself into them." How could he ? W T hat was 
Dr. Symons to one who was face to face with eternal 
life or death ? " I feel stupid," he says. He was not 
" stupid " ; but he was as one that is deaf and hears 
not reproach or praise, scarcely even affection, hearing 
indeed no voices of this world, and nothing but one 
voice from the next, Tu mo urras seul ! 

Truly does Dean Church say about the Apologia 
that its " complete effect as an intelligible whole is 
wanting." Difficult as it would have been for the 
most accurate and impassive of men, such a chronolo 
gical account of his own spiritual pathology was an 
absolute impossibility for Newman ; and we have good 
proof that he himself distrusted what he wrote about 
himself, at least so far as regards the " convictions," 
"opinions," "reasons," "probabilities," and "certi 
tudes," by which he arrived at his goal : for, what 
ever the first edition of his Apologia contains on these 
points, the second edition is almost sure to alter. Still, 
we are bound to give the fullest examination to what 


he says, for the sake of the light that it throws, not 
indeed on the actual facts, but on his character. 

" To be certain," says the Apologia, "is to know that 
one knows." To some it may perhaps occur that the 
man who can honestly say simply " I know," is " cer 
tain." He may be wrong, of course ; but in that case he 
will be wrongly "certain." Still, he is "certain." If he 


is not, when is he ? Newman replies, "when he knows 
that he knows." Perhaps he means that true certainty 
must be preceded by reflection on what a man, before 
reflection, is sometimes hastily disposed to call his 
"knowledge"; and that a man often says, " I am 
certain/ when he ought to say " I think." This, of 
course, sometimes happens. But the remedy is, to 
admit that it happens, and to caution people against 
rashly saying " I am certain " when the right words are 
" I think." Instead of doing this, Newman gives men 
a test of "certainty" which is wholly useless and 
largely mischievous the power of saying " I know 
that I know." It is useless, because children, and posi 
tive people, will just as soon say " I know that I know," 
as " I know." It is mischievous, because overmedita- 
tive and self-introspective minds will go further, and 
say " I think I know that I know, but how am I to 
know I know that I know ? " And some still more 
subtle intellects, going further still, may crave to know 
that they know that they " know they know" and so 
on ad infinitum, with the result of landing themselves in 
the port of Know-nothing, which is only another name 
(in some minds) for Believe-anything. 

A few of Newman s sayings about his " convictions " 
at this time, may help to dissipate the impatient irrita 
tion with which, at the first view, even a Protestant 
may regard his delay to act upon them and to join the 
Church of Rome. He tells his sister (four days after 
he had resigned his living) that people " should not 
act under " " exciting, tumultuous conviction " ; for, " in 
a state of emotion," they cannot " tell whether their 
conviction is well founded or not. They cannot judge 
calmly." That is intelligible. He implies also that one 
ought to act on one s convictions when one can "judge 


calmly." This feeling would be deepened by an inci 
dent that happened a few days afterwards. The 
impetuous Sibthorp who had been so suddenly 
"received" at Oscott, and whom Newman had 
described to Bloxam as the " monkey " who had cut 
off his tail, and to his congregation as the " brother " 
who had left the English Church because the Church 
had " left God " had suddenly returned to the Church 
of England. The Tractarians were disgusted. It dis 
concerted all their plans and quite shook their confi 
dence in " tendimus in Latium" All Littlemore 
shrieked at the repentant " brother " as an apostate," 
" How unspeakably dreadful," writes Ward to a 
Romanist correspondent, " it makes one sick to hear of 
it. I hear that quite moderate people among ourselves 
are extremely disgusted ! " But while assuring his 
friend that the "brother s" reception among the 
Tractarians "will be of the most repulsive character," 
and that the Romanists can " hardly be more shocked 
at it than they are themselves," he also draws a moral 
of delay. There are " feelings which restrain people 
from any change not placed before them by Pro 
vidence " ; and the force of these feelings the Romanists 
ought not " to endeavour to weaken." No doubt 


Newman felt this all the more keenly because he, too, 
had once had fervid, " exciting," perhaps "tumultuous" 
convictions, of conversion and salvation, as an Evan 
gelical ; and these he had been forced to give up. His 
feeling was " I thought myself right then ; how was I 
to be certain that I was right now ? " 

162. Fear of " a jiidicial delusion 

Over and above this, for the first time, there appears 
a still darker spectre : the very shadow of Satan, 


darkening his soul and whispering to him that all these 
anxieties and distresses might be visitations of the 
wrath of God, who might be punishing him for some 
secret sin, visiting him with judicial blindness,* and 
tempting him to quit the Church of his fathers, to leave 
the great work to which he had devoted his life, and 
to go he knew not whither and all for naught except 
perhaps to drive him into ultimate atheism. The first 
clear symptom of this terror is in a letter of November 
1843, m which he warns a correspondent that " the 
Enemy," who " has temptations for all states, all 
occasions," can " turn whatever we do, whatever w r e 
do not do, into a temptation, as "the simile is in 
structively characteristic "a skilful rhetorician turns 
anything into an argument." This helps us to under 
standand surely to sympathize with the intense 
agony of spirit in which Newman was dragged to his 
ultimate decision. In October 1843 ne to ^ Manning 
that all the events that had followed Tract 90 had not 
been the cause of his "state of opinion." They were 
only, he says, " keen stimulants and weighty confirma 
tions of a conviction forced upon me, w r hile engaged in 
the course of duty." He adds "this last circumstance 
is a fact which has never, I think, come before me, till 
now that I write to you." What he meant by the last 
sentence is, that if he had gone out of his way to study 
Athanasius and Leo, the " ghost " of Rome might have 
been more plausibly supposed to have come "from 
below," but since he did it " in the course of duty," 
that theory was the less probable. To the same cor 
respondent he explains that he has nothing to reproach 
himself with, in the matter of impatience, and that he 
trusts God will keep him " from hasty acts or resolves 
with a doubtful conscience." The letter ends with 


words that explain how much Newman s mind rested 
(for its conclusions) on external tokens, such as the 
attitude of friends, their expectations that he would 
join the Church of Rome, their inability to express 
surprise, or to charge him with " wilfulness," and 
so on : 

" This I am sure of, that such interposition as yours, kind as it is 
only does what you would consider harm. It makes me realise my 
own views to myself; it makes me see their consistency; it assures 
me of my own deliberateness ; it suggests to me the traces of a Pro 
vidential Hand ; it takes away the pain of disclosures ; it relieves me 
of a heavy secret." 

In May 1844 he writes to his sister: 

" Unless anything happened which I considered a Divine call, and 
beyond all calculation, I never should take any one by surprise, and 
therefore you need not alarm yourself as if anything were happening. 
But if I judge of the future by the past, and when I recollect the 
long time, now nearly five years, that certain views and feelings have 
been more or less familiar to me, and sometimes pressing on me, it 
would seem as if anything might happen." 

He adds that these " views and feelings " are very 
much clearer and stronger than they were even a year 
ago. A few days afterwards (3 June) he assures her 
that the cheerfulness that has so startled some of her 
friends who have been visiting him, is not put on ; he 
thanks God that hew "cheerful," "though it so 
entirely depends on Him that I might be cast down 
for good and all any day." A few days afterwards, he 
must have been in the spiritual depths again. For 
Keble writes about an idea pervading Newman s last 
letter to him, that if, after all, he should be allowed to be 
erroneous in his judgment, it would be " equivalent to 
judicial blindness." " I do not exactly see," continues 


Keble, "why you should assume this, unless the error 
were supposed deadly, or fundamental. I can imagine 
there might be a providential purpose in allowing even 
a saint to mistake the degree of harm in communicating 
with, or separating from, a particular portion of Christ s 
people." Here, surely, was a strong inducement to 
join the Church of Rome. No Romanist w r ould say 
that a man might be fulfilling " a providential pur 
pose "in " mistaking the degree of harm " in " separat 
ing from " the Church of Rome ; yet Keble makes 
this admission, as regards a man "separating from" 
the Church of England. Since, then, Newman longed 
above all things to be " safe " (at least approximately ; 
few, or none, in his opinion, could be really "safe" 
in this world) ; since the Anglican Church, speaking 
through his spiritual director, Keble, virtually admitted 
that he would be safe in Rome ; and since the Roman 
Church seemed sure to asseverate that (with his light 
and convictions) he would be safe nowhere but in 
Rome why did he delay ? Perhaps, because of 
Keble s postscript : " P.S. Of course you make 
allowance for the longing to be at rest, as a secondary 
influence possible in your case." 

That P.S. was well meant ; but, in its effects, it was 
a cruel cut and must have pierced deep. Up to this 
time, Newman had been able to think of his future 
conversion as a sacrifice, and to reckon the prospects, 
associations, plans, comforts, friendships, that he was 
giving up ; and every such pleasant tie to be painfully 
snapped would be an additional proof of his sincerity, 
and of the depth and permanence of the convictions 
on which he proposed to act. But now, Keble had 
pointed out a new " temptation," and one perhaps that 
was the greatest of all, the longing to be at rest from 


wearing doubts, to bathe his soul in spiritual peace 
at any cost. This must have made Newman distrust 
himself and " his own feelings " more than ever. Might 
it not be that the Enemy that " skilful rhetorician " 
was tempting him to Rome with the bait of what he 
prized most of all, peace for his troubled conscience ? 

Cast back into asceticism as the only test of sincerity, 
he redoubled his self-mortifications to the endangering 
of his health, till a serious warning from his physician 
forced him to desist. His reply to Keble is not printed. 
But a letter, three months afterwards, shows its effect. 
In the sick-chamber of his friend Bowden, he neither 
dared to say that he knew that he knew, nor even that 
he felt that he felt. He did feel. But he did not trust 
his own heart enough to believe it. He writes again 
and again from Bowden s house. When he first wrote, 
Bowden was dying. Newman seems to have received 
his friend s last words on the previous day, and had then 
said that he " never had had pain like the present " ; 
now he doubts it; "One forgets past feelings" ; " I 
suppose it is not so." But he prays to "be kept from 
gloom and ill-temper."* In losing him he seems to 
lose Oxford. "We used to live," he says, "in each 
other s rooms as undergraduates, and men used to mis 
take our names and call us by each other s. When he 
married he used to make a like mistake himself, and 
call me Elizabeth and her Newman. And now for 
several years past, though loving him with all my 
heart, I have shrunk from him, feeling that I had 
opinions " 

Two days afterwards, his friend having passed away, 
he is " full of wrong and miserable feelings." Yet 
when he sees Bowden s little children finding quite a 
solace for their pain in the Daily Prayer," it is impos- 


sible not to feel more at ease in our Church, as at least 
a sort of Zoar." Zoar ! He knew his Bible far too 
well not to be cut to the heart immediately afterwards 
by the very word of comfort that he had summoned to 
his aid ! It was an evil omen that he should compare 
himself to the unconsciously incestuous Lot. He tries 
to avert the omen by an immediate prayer : " Only 
may we be kept from unlawful security, lest we have 
Moab and Ammon for our progeny, the enemies of 
Israel." It was under these deepening shadows of 
self-reproach that he wrote his last letter, fresh from 
the last sight of his second self laid out for burial. 
How pitiful a change it is, when, in our home, or in 
the house of an intimate friend, some well-known room, 
with all its furniture and belongings, endeared to us by 
a thousand sweet, familiar, and vernacular associations, 
becomes at once transmuted into an unfamiliar temple 
of Death, everything in it the same, except one ! 
To that bitter sense of pitifulness was now added this 
far deeper pang, that Newman, even as he sobbed 
over the coffin, felt so chilled and paralysed in heart 
that he could not feel that he felt, or be sure that he 
loved his dearest friend. "He lies in a room I have 
known these twenty-four years. . . . And there lies 
now my oldest friend, so dear to me and I, with so 
little faith or hope, as dead as a stone, and detesting 

163. The white flag 

As the year 1844 drew to an end, both the necessity, 
and the pain, of taking some step became more 
pressing. He was waiting for a sign, and Providence 
sent none ; nothing at least that has been thought 
worthy of inclusion in Newman s letters at the time, 


though something did occur on which Newman was 
destined to lay stress in the following year. On 24 
June, a monk, Dominic by name, a Passionist, was 
passing through Oxford, and came to see Littlemore. 
Newman took him to the Church, and the monk 
offered up prayer there. What he prayed for might 
be guessed. What he said, might be afterwards 
remembered as an omen. It was a play on " Little- 
more " : " A little more grace, and then the consum 
mation." In Loss and Gain Newman afterwards, 
under fictitious names, told the early story of this 
Father : 

"On the Apennines, near Viterbo, there dwelt a shepherd boy, in 
the first years of this century, whose mind had early been drawn 
heavenward ; and one day, as he prayed before an image of the 
Madonna, he felt a vivid intimation that he was to preach the Gospel 
under the northern sky. There appeared no means by which a 
Roman peasant should be turned into a missionary ; nor did the 
prospect open, when this youth found himself, first, a lay brother, 
then a Father, in the Congregation of the Passion. Yet, though no 
external means appeared, the inward impression did not fade on the 
contrary it became more definite ; and, in process of time, instead of 
the dim north, England was engraven on his heart. And, strange 
to say, as years went on, without his seeking, for he was simply 
under obedience, our peasant found himself at length upon the very 
shore of the stormy Northern Sea, whence Caesar of old looked out 
for a new world to conquer ; yet that he should cross the Strait was 
still as little likely as before. But the day came, not, however, by 
any determination of his own, but by the same Providence which, 
thirty years before, had given him the intimation of it." 

Nothing seemed to have come of the Father s visit at 
the time. And if Providence had sent some more 
obvious "sign," or if the " ghost" of Rome could only 
have appeared the third time, with the same cogent 
and majestical aspect as before, nothing perhaps ever 
would have come of it. But the reader must have 
VOL. n B B 


studied these pages in vain if he is unprepared to find 
that, before many months are past, weary with waiting 
for some more definite token of God s will, Newman 
will recall the simple earnest piety of this Passionist, 
and his vivid " intimations," and his " inward impres 
sions," and the strange fulfilment of his aspirations by 
" Providence," and his coming to Littlemore on that 
day of all days which is sacred to St. John the Baptist, 
who presides over conversions. 

For the present, however, not seeing perhaps any 
thing special in Father Dominic, nor anything else 
around him, Newman was wrapped in so thick a gloom 
that, for the first time in his life, he began to suspect 
even his loving and much-loved sister of not sympa 
thizing with him. He could not understand her 
position. He did not know how bewildering some of 
his half confessions and quasi-confidences were, and 
how difficult they were to follow and to respond to, 
without perhaps doing him harm by encouraging him 
in distressing fancies and in mere self-imaginations 
put on paper perhaps to-night, and gone next morning. 
His sister Harriett, when she was bewildered, very 
plainly wrote back asking him "to be candid"-: 
Jemima, not venturing to do this, lovingly passerfover 
some things that she thought it best to ignore. New 
man refused to let her ignore them, and^complained of 
her for ignoring them. Elsewhere he has shown 
traces of this querulous asperity to others. If people 
assumed that he was going to Rome, he complained 
that they were driving him to Rome ; if others could 
not believe that he was going Romeward, he, still more 
wildly, imputes to them the fault of blindness and over- 
sanguineness. But the last stage of unreason is clearly 
reached when so affectionate a brother could be so 


inconsiderately unreasonable with so loving and so clear 
headed a sister. The letter that reveals this state of 
mind reveals also that, so far as "conviction" is con 
cerned, he is in Rome already : " I cannot make out 
that I have any motive but a sense of indefinite risk to 
my soul in remaining where I am. A clear conviction 
of the substantial identity of Christianity and the 
Roman system has now been on my mind for a full 
three years. It is more than five years since the 
conviction first came on me, though I struggled against 
it and overcame it." 

He adds (using "feelings" here in a special sense, 
for he has told us that his "views and feelings" tend 
towards Rome) that " all " his " feelings and wishes are 
against change." And he was right, with the exception 
of that one " feeling and wish " which Keble had men 
tioned, the "wish" for peace and the "feeling" that 
Rome alone could give it. Still, he adds, " unless 
something occurs which I cannot anticipate, I have no 
intention of an early step even now. . . . What keeps 
me here is the desire of giving every chance of finding 
out if I am under the power of a delusion. ... I say 
to myself, * What have I done to be given up to a 
delusion, if it be one ? What, indeed, had he 
done ? And what must have been his notions of God 
that he could suppose that the Supremely Just had 
treated him with such supreme injustice ? * However, 
in order to give some kind of consistent and logical 
answer to these self-questionings about " delusion," he 
resolved to send Keble a diary of his acts and thoughts 
in order that the latter might decide whether he really 
was under such a sentence of damnation. Such 
a record of his spiritual symptoms, sent continuously 
for some weeks or months, convinced Keble, and went 

B B 2 


some way towards convincing Newman, that he was 
not under a heaven-sent " judicial delusion," and 
thus helped to remove one more obstacle between him 
and the haven for which he destined himself. 

Still, he dares not act. The " unsettlement of quiet 
people " which his change of religion might produce, is, 
he now admits, " quite a reason for not moving without 
a clear and settled conviction that to move is a duty." 
But has he not before told us that he has a " clear 
conviction," and has had it for " full three years," that 
the Roman system is substantially identical with 
Christianity ? The fact was that he still shrank from 
the almost unpardonable sin of " private judgment," or, 
in other words, " the nuisance of taking steps " in any 
religious matter. He does not wonder that a change 
of religion subjects a man to the imputation of some 
" wrong motive." No man has the right to take so 
awful a step simply because he " thinks himself right " ! 
A change of religion " is the necessary consequence of 
his thinking himself right ; and I fully allow that the 
onus probandi that he is not so influenced lies with the 
person influenced." Then he gives his sister his views 
of the Anglican Church. Even Roman divines allow 
"to a Church in schism, which has the Apostolical Suc 
cession, and the right form of consecrating the sacra- 
iments, very large privileges. They allow that Baptism 
has the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the Eucharist the 
Real presence. What they deny to such a Church is 
the power of imparting these gifts. They say that the 
grace is locked up, though present, and is not fruitful 
to the souls of individuals." How changed, this New 
man, from the old Newman who once discoursed with 
such point and wit about " sound Church-of- England- 
ism " " standing on one leg," when he can thus gravely 


descant upon the ecclesiastical position of a spiritual 
Mother who has food for her children, but it is locked 
up, and she has no key ! And how deeply must he 
have distrusted himself, not to have exchanged at once 
what he deemed to be possibly a home of imposture, 
for what was so at least he was convinced the home 
of the very truth ! 

In despair of a " sign," Newman seems at last to 
have determined to be guided by a comparatively 
small coincidence. He would wait for " seven " w years 
seven being a sacred number from the time when 
the " ghost " first appeared to him. By that time, 
if his convictions were not changed, he would 
join the Church of Rome. Meanwhile he would 
spend the interval in working out on paper his theory 
of Developments in religion. He would endeavour to 
show how the Roman system, instead of being a collec 
tion of arbitrary and sacerdotal fictions, was an organic 
growth developed by Providence. To publish this 
would take him till 1846. Then he would decide or 
rather he hoped that Providence would decide for 

In the first edition of the Apologia he puts it thus, 
" I determined to write an Essay on Doctrinal 
Development ; and then, if at the end of it my con 
victions were not weaker, to make up my mind to seek 
admission into her fold." " Determined to make up 
my mind " is a curious expression ; but it is in accord 
ance with all that we know about Newman. " Making 
up his mind," in matters of religion, was, with him, 
equivalent to " leaping." It was not a deliberate act. 
What he says, then, expresses what he meant : " I 
determined to take the leap." In the second edition 
it runs thus, " I came to the resolution ... of taking 


the necessary steps for admission into her fold." Both 
editions, however, make it clear that the Essay was 
not intended to convince himself of the claims of the 
Church of Rome ; it was merely to ensure deliberation 
upon his present convictions. He was convinced 
already. It was to satisfy his conscience, not his 
reason, that he went through this (logically speaking) 
superfluous task of accumulating probabilities. What 
he felt was, that such an occupation as this, being a 
kind of duty, placed him in the best position for 
hearing the voice of conscience and ascertaining her 
will. He was ready to accept her terms at once if she 
would but let him know them. Thus regarded, the 
book would be a kind of flag of truce, a proposal to 
negotiate with conscience so far as this, that she would 
at least signify her will. That done, he would sur 
render at discretion. 



1 64. The Essay on Doctrinal Development 

SINCE the Essay on Doctrinal Development did not 
produce in its author convictions which have been 
shown to have previously existed, a detailed criticism 
of it here would be out of place. Little more need be 
said about it, so far as it bears upon his conversion, 
than that he succeeded in making out such a case for 
Rome that he left his previous convictions no weaker, 
apparently even stronger, than before. But one or 
two specimens of the argument may be useful, as 
illustrations of his condition of mind during this period 
of expectation. I shall give some of those which seem 
to show Newman at his best. , 

The Essay deals with the Notes of the Church and 
shows that Rome has these Notes. One of these is 
the Note of Logical Sequence ; and here, if you con 
cede to Newman his mechanical principle of the nature 
of the Forgiveness of Sins, you are led on to the 
acknowledgment of " Monastic Rule " as the perfection 
of Christian life, with a subtlety of gradation and 
logical cogency, which shows the author to great 
advantage. Newman regards forgiveness as an estate, 
so to speak, conveyable by God to man upon arbitrary 


conditions, one of which is the Sacrament of Baptism 
which washes away sins. What, then, as to sins after 
Baptism ? Are they unpardonable ? That would be 
too shocking. Hence, the Church must have the 
power to pardon. But there must be conditions, as 
before. Hence sprang four degrees of penance, 
through which offenders had to pass in order to obtain 
reconciliation. Then rose the question, Are these 
penances mere outward signs of inward contrition ? If 
so, they might be dispensed with, as soon as true 
repentance was discovered. Newman does not clearly 
show why this should not be done ; but if it could be 
dispensed with, penance would seem to fall from its 
sacramental footing. He points out that the Fathers 
considered penance more than an outward sign ; it was 
an expiation, an act done directly towards God and a 
means of averting His anger. Penance, therefore, is 
of the nature of a "satisfaction" to God, paying to 
Him so much pain as a means of propitiating Him. 

But what if a man dies before he has paid this debt 
of pain ; is he lost for ever ? That again, would be 
too shocking. Therefore there must be a means of 
paying God that " satisfaction " hereafter. Hence 
arises the logical need of a Purgatory. But the man 
who is once convinced "that sin must have its punish 
ment, here or hereafter .... who believes that suffer 
he must, and that delayed punishment is the greater 
.... has within his breast a source of greatness, 
self-denial, heroism." The inference appears to be 
that (in view of heavenly compensations) he will be 
absolutely indifferent to earthly pains and worldly 
motives, and that the actions accomplished in this 
spirit will be, according to the heading of this section, 
" meritorious works." But if we wish for a course of 


" meritorious works," where can we find it better than 
in " the Monastic Rule " ? Thus, by an easy, smooth 
descent of Logical Sequence, we are led on from the 
Dogma of Forgiveness to the Dogma of Pardons, and 
from Pardons to Penances, and thence to Satisfactions, 
and so to Purgatory, and then to Meritorious Works, 
and finally to the Monastic Rule : which itself 
culminates in the greatest and highest " penance," or 
"satisfaction," that man can pay to God, the surrender 
of the mind, the intellect, the understanding, and the 
will, to some ecclesiastical superior : for " it may fairly 
be questioned whether, in an intellectual age, when 
freedom both of thought and of action is so dearly 
prized, a greater penance can be devised for the 
soldiers of Christ than the absolute surrender of 
judgment and will to the command of another." 

All this symmetrical and subtly-connected fabric 
collapses like a house of cards if we reflect for a single 
moment that forgiveness of sins, whether between man 
and man or between man and God, is nothing but a 
spiritual process, and that no bodily pains, nor material 
penalties, inflicted or remitted, have any essential 
connection with it. But grant Newman s theory 
of forgiveness, and then as the ancient false 
astronomy led on its supporters to their " eccentrics " 
and " epicycles 1 in order to "save the phenomena" 
so the reader is led to adopt first this, and then that, 
development, in order to make things square and 
clear ; and the result is a mechanical conclusion worthy 
of the mechanical premiss. 

On other Notes we cannot dwell here. But the 
reader can imagine for himself how easily the Note 
ot " Anticipation of the Future " will show that the 
Church consistently maintained against heretics, first, 


that Matter was susceptible of divine grace ; and 
hence, later on, that reverence is due to saintly bodies, 
and relics ; and that miracles may be wrought by them. 
The Note of " Preservative Additions," also, bids us 
not pass over the statement that the worship of the 
Virgin preserved the worship of the Son ; and the 
frank avowal that " love " is not an initial principle of 
the Gospel, but a development, protecting, but not 
superseding, the initial " fear." 

165. Thirlwall and Hare on this Essay 

Of course, the right of innovation, implied in this 
Essay, is irreconcilable with the claims of antiquity. 
Hence, as Bishop Thirlwall says, we have to enquire 
who, beside the Author of Revelation, has authority 
thus to innovate : 

"And then we soon find ourselves drawn into a vicious circle. 
For the existence of this authority is no more explicitly attested, 
either by Scripture or Tradition, than any of the doctrines which 
rest upon its sanction. It must therefore witness to itself, and hang 
self-supported, like the prophet s tomb in the lying legend. For 
those who have been trained to look up to it with unquestioning 
veneration, this absence of all external warrant may create no diffi 
culty. To them it may be sufficient to say, that t * belief is in itself 
better than unbelief ; that it is safer to believe ; that we must begin 
with believing, and that conviction will follow ; that, as for the rea 
sons of believing, they are for the most part implicit, and but slightly 
recognized by the mind that is under their influence ; that they con 
sist moreover rather of presumptions and guesses, ventures after the 
truth, than of accurate proofs, and that probable arguments are 
sufficient for conclusions which we even embrace as most certain and 
turn to the most important uses. 

" But for any one who has not been subject to the influence of 
such associations, who is required to make a deliberate choice, and 
to stake his all upon the adoption of a new belief, to content himself 


with such * presumptions and guesses, and ventures after the truth 
as those which form the best substitute this author has to offer for 
accurate proofs, would argue a want either of judgment or of 
seriousness, which it may be hoped will not often be found in that 
class of readers for which his work is designed. Nor will that singu 
lar combination of the extremes of scepticism and credulity which it 
exhibits in a degree almost without precedent, recommend it to 
those who value either freedom of thought or earnestness of faith. 
To minds constituted and predisposed like his own, it may un 
doubtedly minister a welcome plea for yielding to that sentimental 
and imaginative bias, which, as I expressed my belief in my last 
Charge with regard to other cases, appears to have been the real 
cause of his own secession, and which alone enables us to reconcile 
the respect due to his abilities and attainments, with the esteem which 
we should wish to feel for his character." 

On the detailed proofs and allegations in the De 
velopment we cannot dwell ; but a good authority 
has pronounced a verdict which, if correct, would place 
it almost below the level of the Essay on Ecclesiastical 
Miracles. Archdeacon Hare comments on one error, 
not so much for the error itself as for its exemplification 
of Newman s method of piling superstructure of infer 
ence on no foundation. " The See of St. Hippolytus," 
writes Newman, " as if he belonged to all places in the 
orbis terrarum, cannot be located, and is variously 
placed in the neighbourhood of Rome and in Arabia." 
Now it is generally recognized that the notion of a See 
in Arabia" arose from a mis-translation, and has no 
foundation in fact. But suppose it true ; what would 
follow ? This simply : that authorities were at vari 
ance as to the See of Hippolytus. But Newman uses 
it as one among other proofs that all Bishops of the 
Church possessed " a power essentially ecumenical!" 

A single inference of such a nature is worse than a 
score of slight inaccuracies, and goes some way to 


justify Hare s severe description of a recipe for a 
" Development : " " Take a sentence or two here and 
there from this Father, and a couple of expressions 
from another, add half a canon of this Council, a couple 
of incidents out of some ecclesiastical historian, an 
anecdote from a chronicler, two conjectures of some 
critic, and half-a-dozen drachms of a schoolman, mix 
them up in rhetoric qiiant. suff., and shake them well 
together, and thus we get at a theological develop 


1 66. Its rhetorical skill 

The somewhat bitter criticism just quoted allows the 
Essay the praise of a persuasive style. And certainly, 
whatever may have been the amount of cerebral or 
spiritual excitement under which Newman was labour 
ing during its composition, no injurious effect is per 
ceptible on his rhetorical power. Never perhaps has 
that been more vividly exemplified than in the famous 
passage in which he comments upon the imputations 
brought by the world against the Roman Church as 
being superstitious, deceitful, and morally corrupt. 
These things, he argues, have ever been a Note of 
the Church. They are, therefore, a proof, not that the 
Church of Rome is false, but that it is the true Church. 
How lightly, beneath his spell, do we incline, at first, 
to think it almost obvious that, since the Pagan Nero- 
nian empire scorned and despised the Church, therefore 
the Christian Victorian empire may naturally scorn 
and despise it too ! 

But the best way to appreciate the marvellous sleight 
of the rhetorical hand will be to place that passage by 


the side of another from the Lectures " On the Present 
Position of Catholics in England," which proves just 
the opposite. The former says, in effect, " Of course 
every one that is not in the Church of Rome fails to 
recognize her true nature. It was so from the begin 
ning ; it needs must be so now." The latter, " Of 
course every one, except our insular English selves, 
recognizes the true nature of the Church of Rome. 
Even infidels see it. What fools the English must be 
that they alone fail to see it and remain outside her 
pale ! " 


" If there is a form of Christi 
anity now in the world which is 
accused of gross superstition, of 
borrowing its rites and customs 
from the heathen, and of ascribing 
to forms and ceremonies an oc 
cult virtue ; a religion which is 
considered to burden and enslave 
the mind by its requisitions, to 
address itself to the weak-minded 
and ignorant, to be supported by 
sophistry and imposture, and to 
contradict reason and exalt mere 
irrational faith ; a religion which 
impresses on the serious mind 
very distressing views of the guilt 
and consequences of sin, sets 
upon the minute acts of the day, 
one by one, their definite value 
for praise or blame, and thus 
casts a grave shadow over the 
future ; a religion which holds 
up to admiration the surrender 
of wealth, and disables serious 


" Considering, what is as un 
deniable a fact as that there is 
a country called France, or an 
ocean called the Atlantic, the 
actual extent, the renown, and 
the manifold influence of the 
Catholic religion, considering 
that it surpasses in territory and 
in population any other Christian 
communion, nay, surpasses them 
all put together, considering 
that it is the religion of two hun 
dred millions of souls, that it is 
found in every quarter of the 
globe, that it penetrates into all 
classes of the social body, that it 
is received by entire nations, that 
it is so multiform in its institu 
tions, and so exuberant in its 
developments, and so fresh in its 
resources, as any tolerable know 
ledge of it will be sure to bring 
home to our minds, that it has 
been the creed of men the most 




persons from enjoying it if they 
would ; a religion the doc 
trines of which, be they good or 
bad, are to the generality of men 
unknown ; which is considered to 
bear on its very surface signs of 
folly and falsehood so distinct 
that a glance suffices to judge of 
it, and careful examination is 
preposterous ; which is felt to be 
so simply bad, that it may be 
calumniated at hazard and at 
pleasure, it being nothing but ab 
surdity to stand upon the accu 
rate distribution of its guilt among 
its particular acts, or painfully to 
determine how far this or that 
story is literally true, what must 
be allowed in candour, or what is 
improbable, or what cuts two 
ways, or what is not proved, or 
what may be plausibly defended ; 
a religion such, that men look 
at a convert to it with a feeling 
which no other sect raises, ex 
cept Judaism, Socialism, or Mor- 
monism, with curiosity, suspicion, 
fear, disgust, as the case may be, 
as if something strange had befal 
len him, as if he had had an 
initiation into a mystery, and had 
come into communion with 
dreadful influences, as if he were 
now one of a confederacy which 
claimed him, absorbed him, 
stripped him of his personality, 
reduced him to a mere organ or 
instrument of a whole ; a re 
ligion which men hate as pro- 


profound and the most refined, 
and the source of works the most 
beneficial, the most arduous, and 
the most beautiful ; and, more 
over, considering that, thus ubi 
quitous, thus commanding, thus 
intellectual, thus energetic, thus 
efficient, it has remained one and 
the same for centuries, con 
sidering that all this must be 
owned by its most virulent 
enemies, explain it how they will ; 
surely it is a phenomenon the 
most astounding, that a nation 
like our own, should so manage 
to hide this fact from their minds, 
as habitually to scorn, and 
ridicule, and abhor, the pro 
fessors of that religion. Was 
there ever such an instance of 
self-sufficient, dense, and ridicu 
lous bigotry, as that which rises 
up and walls in the minds of our 
fellow-countrymen from all know 
ledge of one of the most remark 
able phenomena, which the his 
tory of the world has seen ? This 
broad fact of Catholicism, as real 
as the continent of America, or 
the Milky Way, which they can 
not deny, Englishmen will not 
entertain ; they shut their eyes, 
they thrust their heads into the 
sand, and try to get rid of a great 
vision, a great reality, under the 
name of Popery ; they will not 
recognize, what infidels recognize 
as well as Catholics, the vastness, 
the grandeur, the splendour, the 




selytizing, anti-social, revolution 
ary, as dividing families, separat 
ing chief friends, corrupting the 
maxims of government, making 
a mock at law, dissolving the em 
pire, the enemy of human nature, 
and a * conspirator against its 
rights and privileges ; a re 
ligion which they consider the 
champion and instrument of 
darkness, and a pollution calling 
down upon the land the anger of 
heaven ; a religion which they 
associate with intrigue and con 
spiracy, which they speak about 
in whispers, which they detect by 
anticipation in whatever goes 
wrong, and to which they impute 
whatever is unaccountable; a 
religion the very name of which 
they cast out as evil, and use 
simply as a bad epithet, and 
which from the impulse of self- 
preservation they would persecute 
if they could ; if there be such a 
religion now in the world, it is 
not unlike Christianity as that 
same world viewed it when first 
it came forth from its Divine 


loveliness of the manifestations 
of this time-honoured ecclesiasti 
cal confederation." 

167 il He did not intend to work out any problem " 

It is an extraordinary instance of the thoroughness 
and depth of Newman s self-deception to find him 
notwithstanding, and in the midst of, these splendid 
displays of misleading rhetoric imitating the language 
of Socrates, who, having no religious issues at stake and 


nothing but the truth to seek, really did follow with 
single-hearted devotion wherever pitiless Logic led him. 
And Newman actually thinks he is doing the same 
thing : " We cannot manage our argument and have 
as much of it as we please and no more." Never was 
pantomimic sword of lath more manageable" and 
capable of producing more sudden transformations 
than argument in Newman s hands. 

After perusing, with mingled admiration and repul 
sion, some of his most brilliant displays, we feel inclined 
to be no longer irritated with him for his morbid, rest 
less self-suspicions, and to understand with almost 
painful clearness why he likened the Tempter to a 
"skilful rhetorician," who "can turn anything into an 
argument." Light is thrown then upon some of his 
perplexing sayings, which not only bid us believe first 
and conviction will follow, but also warn us that we 
cannot be said to believe even that about which we 
have no doubt, until our minds are familiarised with it. 
Except as " familiarising" him with views of which he 
was " convinced " already, this Essay seems unfitted 
to produce any influence. It might, indeed, suggest 
to him that the Roman system was largely adapted to 
the infirmities of human nature ; that in certain periods 
of history, and especially among the nations of the 
South, it had " worked " well, or at all events had 
worked very grand and imposing ecclesiastical results. 
But v/hat sort of argument was this ? An argument 
appealing, not only to the weaknesses and moral 
infirmities of mankind, but also which was far worse 
to private judgment, and to experience. Such a 
view of the Roman Church could do no more than 
represent to his mind, somewhat more vividly than 
before, the connected subtlety, yet breadth, the sym- 


metry of organic growth, the unity of vital principle, 
in the development of medieval from Christian Anti 
quity. But this, upon reflection, he must have per 
ceived to be an appeal to the Imagination, not to the 
faculty that produces intellectual convictions. Hence 
our study of the Essay itself drives us to the conclusion 
to which external evidence has pointed, viz., that 
Newman, in writing it, was simply spending his time 
in what seemed a pious manner, likely to be acceptable 
to God, and thereby to hasten the coming of that 
4 sign " for which his soul panted, as for water in a dry 
desert. The testimony of his brother-in-law comes 
in aptly here to prove that we are doing him no 

" I cannot remember," says Mr. E. T. Mozley, 
" when, or how, Newman told me what must have 
been in his own anticipation that, if I was ever to go 
over, it would be, and indeed ought to be, by a supe 
rior act of volition over-ruling and containing t my 
own. The Almighty would give me the opportunity, 
and the call, as well as the power and mode, of con 
version. ... I could not realise his sitting down 
deliberately to give two years to working out the 
problem. The fact was he did not intend to work out 
any problem at all, but to wait for further Light from 
his Heavenly guide." 

This probably represents the facts except in one 
point, which is little more than a matter of words. It 
will be remembered that Newman professed to believe 
in God and in Christianity upon accumulated prob 
abilities, which somehow or other as water at a 
certain point becomes steam were, at a certain stage 
to be converted by Divine aid into certitude. So far, 
then, as the composition of this Essay could help him 



to accumulate "probabilities," that is to say, "pre 
sumptions, guesses, ventures after the truth, rather than 
accurate proofs," if this was working out a problem, 
then to work out a problem was really Newman s 
intention. He would take up pen and paper and work 
away at " presumptions, guesses, and ventures after 
truth " ; not that, at this stage, he had any faith in 
them ; but it was an act of obedience to a Divine 
ordinance. If he was caught, as it were, thus, pen in 
hand, co-operating with God in the attempt to " arrive 
at certitude by accumulated probabilities," God would 
be all the more likely to say suddenly to him, by means 
of some sudden "omen" or "sign," at some appointed 
instant, " Now you are certain." And then he 
would be certain. 



1 6 8. Still waiting for a "sign" 

MONTH after month of 1845 passed away, adding 
yet page after page to the Essay on Development; but 
in spite of all this toil there was still wanting that last 
essential touch which was to transmute this host of 
nebular probabilities into one solid and compact 
certitude that would release the soul from the dread of 
acting upon private judgment and leave it free to pass 
into the haven where it was fain to be. And here, if 
we would understand that final scene to which we are 
fast approaching, and which will close this drama- 
tragedy some would call it, and perhaps rightly of 
one of the most interesting human souls that ever lost 
their way in the labyrinth of doubt, it seems right to 
collect the broken or tangled threads of motive which 
we find in the Apologia, and, if not to disentangle and 
unite them, at least to indicate the knots and points of 

How Newman arrived at conclusions, we, by this 
time, pretty well know. But that is not enough. In 
order to understand his character, and sympathize with 
his perplexities, we ought to endeavour though it is 
no easy task to ascertain how he thought he arrived at 

c c 2 



them. For this purpose, our best plan will be, to put 
side by side, first Newman s earlier, and then his later 
and corrected statements, about the means by which \ve 
attain truth. It will appear that he has hardly ever 
made a statement on this subject in the early editions of 
the Apologia and the Essay on Development, which he 
has not subsequently corrected. The first place is due 
to a passage in the Essay we have just been discussing. 
He is speaking about the principle of " Faith," as he 
calls it in the later edition, or, " the preference of Faith 
to Reason " as he calls it in the first. Those words in 
one edition which are omitted in the other, are italicized 
and bracketed : 


" such again was its special 
preference of Faith to Reason, 
which was so great a jest to 
Celsus and Julian. 

The latter principle [when 
brought out into words] is as fol 
lows ; that belief is, in itself, bet 
ter than unbelief ; that it is safer 
to believe ; that we must begin 
with believing [and that conviction 
will follow~\ ; that, as for the rea 
sons of believing, they are for 
the most part implicit, and but 
slightly recognized by the mind 
that is under their influence ; that 
they consist moreover rather of 
presumptions [a?id guessts], ven 
tures after the truth than of ac 
curate proofs ; and that probable 
arguments are sufficient for con 
clusions which we even embrace 
as most certain, and turn to the 
most important uses." 

" This principle which, as we 
have already seen, was so great a 
jest to Celsus and Julian, is of the 
following kind ; That belief [in 
Christianity^ is in itself better 
than unbelief [that faith, though 
an intellectual action, is ethical in 
its origin /] that it is safer to be 
lieve ; that we must begin with 
believing ; that, as for the reasons 
of believing, they are for the most 
part implicit, and [need be] but 
slightly recognized by the mind 
that is under their influence ; that 
they consist moreover rather of 
presumptions and ventures after 
the truth than of accurate [and 
complete] proofs ; and that pro 
bable arguments \imder the scru 
tiny and sanction of a prudent 
judgment} are sufficient for con 
clusions which we even embrace 
as most certain and turn to the 
most important uses." 


The reader will see at a glance the excitement under 
which the writer of the first edition was labouring : 
"begin by believing, and conviction will follow"! 
And "the reasons for believing " are, largely " guesses" ! 
And there is no mention of the need of " the scrutiny 
and sanction of a prudent judgment." It is obvious to 
remark that the writer had, at the time, " conviction," 
yet dared not act upon it. But what can be the 
meaning of " believe and conviction will follow," 
except " say you believe, though yoii do not and, in 
time, you really will believe ? " * 

Next will come his statements in the Apologia as to 
the manner in which he was led to final conviction and 
action upon it. It will be found that the changes in 
the later edition, while aiming at greater exactness, 
really obscure the actual processes of Newman s mind 
and hide from us the guess-work, and the groping, and 
the imaginative feeling, by which he was principally led. 


"And now I have carried on "I have nothing more to say 
the history of my opinions to their on the subject of the change in 
last point before I became a my religious opinions. On the 
Catholic. I find great difficulty one hand I came gradually to see 
in fixing dates precisely ; but it that the Anglican Church was 
must have been some way into formally in the wrong, on the 
1844, before I thought, not only other that the Church of Rome was 
that the Anglican Church was formally in the right ; [then that no 
certainly wrong, but that Rome valid reasons could be assigned for 
was right. Then I had nothing continuing in the Anglican, and 
more to learn on the subject. again that no valid objections 
\IIow l Samaria* faded away from could be taken to joining the 
my imagination I cannot tell ; but Roman]. Then I had nothing 
it was gone]." more to learn; \what still re 

mained for my conversion was not 
further change of opinion but to 
change opinion itself into the clear 
ness and firmness of intellectual 
conviction ] " 


To this add the passage which describes his state of 
mind at the time of resigning St. Mary s in September 


" I had only one more advance " I had only one final advance 

of mind to make, and that was to of mind to accomplish [and one 

be CERTAIN* of [what I had hither- final step to take]. That further 

to anticipated, concluded and be- advance of mind was to be [able 

lievetf] ; and this was close upon honestly to say that I was} certain 

my submission to the Catholic of [the conclusions at which I had 

Church. And I had only one already arrived}. That further 

more act to perform, and step, imperative when such certi- 

that was the act of submission tude was obtained, was my SUB- 

itself." MISSION* to the Catholic Church/ 

In the former passages, the later version endeavours 
to be more exact than the earlier. Instead of " thinking" 
that the Anglican Church is "certainly wrong" a 
curiously illogical expression but probably an accur 
ate representation of the state of Newman s mind* he 
substitutes "see that the Anglican Church was for 
mally in the wrong." The correction is necessary. 
For he is describing his state of mind when it was 
"some way into 1844." Now we know from his letter 
to Manning that in October 1843 ne na cl resigned St. 
Mary s because, to use his own words, he thought u the 
Church of Rome the Catholic Church and ours not part 
of the Catholic Church." * Even Newman would hardly 
have deemed such an inconsistency excused by saying 
that in 1843 he resigned St. Mary s because he thought 
it was so, but in 1 844 he thought it was certainly so. 

The tedious insertion, in the later edition, of the 
words about "valid reason," and "no valid objections," 
seems intended to suggest the deliberateness of the 
logical stages of his advance. The next insertion 
indicates that, even after he had "learned" everything, 


he had still only " opinions," and these opinions" 
must be changed into "the clearness and firmness of 
intellectual convictions." On the other hand, the later 
edition drops altogether the picturesque and suggestive 
image of "Samaria," and the significant reference to 
the " imagination," -which really was the most adequate 
explanation of Newman s change of mind. 

The second passage shows the same tendency to 
exaggerate the patient slowness of the logical processes 
by which he arrived at his conclusions. Instead of "to 
be certain," the author substitutes " to be able honestly 
to say that he is certain : " and instead of admitting 
that his earlier conclusions were merely " anticipated, 
concluded, and believed " (in plain English, " im 
agined ") he substitutes " arrived at," as having a more 
reasonable sound. 

Lastly, let us set down the two accounts in the two 
editions of the Apologia, both of which are attempts 
to re-state what he believed in 1843-4 as to the manner 
in which we are to arrive at " certitude." 

"Speaking historically of what I held in 1843-4, I say, that I be 
lieved in a God on a ground of probability, and that I believed in 
Christianity on a probability, and that I believed in Catholicism on 
a probability, and that 


all three were about the same these three grounds of prob- 
kind of probability, ability, distinct from each other, 

of course, in subject-matter, were 
still, all of them one and the 
same in nature of proof, as being 
probabilities probabilities of a 
special kind ; 

a cumulative, a transcendent probability, but still probability ; inas 
much as He who made us has so willed, that in mathematics indeed 


we [should, om. in first ed.] arrive at certitude by rigid demonstra 
tion, but in religious inquiry we [should, om. in first ed.] arrive at 
certitude by accumulated probabilities : 


inasmuch as He who has He has willed, I say, that we 
willed that we should so act co- should so act, and, as willing it, 
operates with us in our acting, and He co-operates with us in our 
thereby bestows on us acting and thereby enables us to 

do that which He wills us to do, 
and carries us on, if our will does 
but co-operate with His, to 

a certitude which rises higher than the logical force of our 

How then are we to " act," according to Newman s 
scheme, so as to obtain certitude in religious inquiry ? 
The earlier and shorter version of the scheme (which I 
prefer to quote because the later seems only to make 
the process a little less clear and a little more mysteri 
ous) tells us that we are to "act " ; and then God " co 
operates with us in our acting, and thereby bestows on 
us a certitude which rises higher than the logical force 
of our conclusions." But how has God "willed us to 
act " ? Going back for our answer to the previous 
words, "willed that we should so act," we find our 
selves once more carried back (after Newman s 
fashion) to what again precedes, "God has willed 
that in religious inquiry we should arrive at certitude 
by accumulated probabilities." Our " acting," then, 
is to be "arriving at certitude by accumulated prob 
abilities." We obtain therefore upon an exact and 
grammatical interpretation of the passage this result, 
that we, on our side, are to arrive at " certitude by 
accumulated probabilities," and, if we do this, God, on 
His side, will bestow on us " certitude." Obviously 


Newman does not mean this. He means that we are 
to attempt to arrive at certitude. But ought one who 
thinks he has " found a definition of Reason," and who 
sets up for a teacher on the subject, to write about it in 
such an unreasonable way ? 

Englishmen are loose in "thinking": we "think 
we will do "-anything that we have resolved to do ; we 
decline a hospitable offer with an " I think not, thank 
you"; we "venture to think that" two and three 
make five. But put all these statements of Newman s 
together, and we must surely say that he out- 
Englishes Englishmen, and proves his unique com 
petency to write a " Grammar of English thinking 
adapted for the loosest of theological thinkers! 

Reviewing all these offences, aggravated (as the 
reader must be aware) by many that have been noticed 
in the course of this book, which ought to prepare 
him to credit the assertion that very many more have 
been left unnoticed ; considering those just alleged in 
the light of his statements in the Letters about the clear 
" conviction" which he had for so long a time in favour 
of Rome ; then adding those other passages in which, 
after seeing the " ghost," he said that his " convictions " 
against Rome remained as before and that he intended 
to be guided by his reason and not by his feelings, 
which again must be compared with another passage 
in which he tells a correspondent that " anyone can 
reason, only disciplined, educated, trained minds, can 
perceive " : and bearing in mind that the Apologia was 
written more than twenty years after his theory of 
Faith and Reason had been brought out in his Uni 
versity Sermons, I do not see how it can be called 
prejudiced, or unfair, or anything but necessary, to con 
clude that Newman did not really believe heartily in 


he certainly did not adopt the subtle distinctions that 
he drew for others between the various faculties of the 

When he speaks about "opinions," and "convic 
tions," and " reason," and " feeling," and " knowing 
that one knows," and "being able honestly to say that 
one knows," and " thinking that this or that is" and 
" thinking that this or that certainly is" he is deceiving 
himself, and tending to deceive us, by talking about 
that of which he really knows nothing, because he has 
never had any experience of it I mean deep intellec 
tually honest, rooted conviction. He throws himself 
generously into loose, varying, and inconsistent descrip 
tions of the logical processes by which we are to prepare 
ourselves to receive religious certitude, and then patches 
and touches them up with afterthoughts to make them 
look like new, but with no other result than to show that 
they are still unsound, with defects covered rather than 
cured. From top to bottom, Newman s theory about 
Reason is like a house with irreparably bad foundations 
and consequently shifting walls, showing everywhere 
cracks, and chinks, and gaps ; which the landlord paints 
over but does not effectively repair, partly because the 
mischief is irremediable, and partly because he does not 
himself intend to occupy the house. So it is with New 
man and his logic. He lets it out to others, he does not 
inhabit it himself. He does not intend to work out his 
problems in the method which he inculcates on his 
followers. It is not logic that carries him on. He is 
waiting for some " interposition," some " call," some 
"omen," some "superior act of volition," some " sign," 
or " Providential coincidence," which may assure him 
that he is obeying a voice from above, and not from 
below, and that he is not the prey of " a judicial delu- 


sion." Without this or something like this, not all the 
arguments in the world, no, nor the force of Reason, 
explicit and implicit to boot, will induce him to take 
that awful leap to which the Tempter, he fears, may 
possibly be luring him with the promise of rest and 


" the devil hath power 

To assume a pleasing shape ; yea, and perhaps, 
Out of my weakness and my melancholy 
As he is very potent with such spirits 
Abuses me to damn me." 

169. " Show some token iipon me " 

Yet the Enemy was pressing him on the other side, 
too. Towards the end of 1844 he had been led to see 
that there was no medium for him between Atheism 
and Romanism ; to the feeling that " not to believe 
more," as he writes to his sister, "is to fall back into 
scepticism." This terror would soon overweigh the 
fear that had so long kept him back. " What keeps 
me yet," he says in the same letter, " is what has kept 
me long, a fear that I am under a delusion ; but the 
conviction remains firm under all circumstances, in all 
frames of mind." Against such terror as this, nothing 
could be done by friends or reasons. On the soul of 
such a sufferer, the kind prattle of Keble s gossiping 
letters, recommending him to think over old friends 
and old times, would fall with as much effect as a little 
child s fingers lovingly patting the shell of a pet tortoise. 
Keble suggests thinking about " the day of laying jhe 
first stone at Littlemore," or " another day when we 
walked up with old Christie," or some other " of the old 
days when we most enjoyed ourselves together, either 
with dear Hurrell Froude, or in thought and talk of him 


if such indulgences are not unfit for this season." 
But they were " unfit for that season." Presumably 
Keble (20 February) meant Lent ; but Newman was 
not fasting in the Wilderness, but wrestling in the 
Agony : it was the Day of Judgment in anticipation ; 
and he was alone to face it, forgetting and deeming 
himself forgotten, as a dead man out of mind, cut off 
from the land of the living. How could he bear to 
hear even about Hurrell Froude when there was ever 
tolling in his ears the intolerable Je mourrai seul, Je 
mourrai seul ? * 

The thought of his sister s anguish stung him most 
deeply, but he was learning to steel himself against 
that as inevitable. The risk to his soul in moving, the 
still greater risk in remaining, tended now to become his 
one all-absorbing thought ; scarcely to be lightened, 
much less removed, by the hard and exciting work of 
composing the Essay on Development. Yet still he 
fights and struggles for an appearance of deliberateness. 
He vehemently inculcates on a correspondent that 
" nothing but a simple, direct call of duty is a warrant 
for any one leaving " the Church of England : "The 
simple question is, Can / (it is personal, not whether 
another, but can /) be saved in the English Church ? 
am / in safety, were I to die to-night ? Is it a mortal 
sin in me, not joining another communion ? " Gradually, 
however, he began to prepare for the end. In the 
spring of 1845, ne warned his sister of his intention to 
give up his Fellowship in the following October. He 
had always intended to do this some time before taking 
any further step ; and she understood it as an omen of 
something worse to happen next year. Her expostu 
lations called forth two replies, one written on the eve 
of Palm Sunday, the other, next morning. The first is 


a passionate appeal to his own good faith ; he is giving 
up so much, he says, making himself an outcast ; he 
beseeches her to " pity " him ; what has he done thus to 
be deserted ? thus to be left to take a wrong course ? 

" Continually do I pray that He would discover to me if I am 
under a delusion ; what can I do more ? What hope have I but in 
Him ? To whom should I go ? Who can do me any good ? Who 
can speak a word of comfort but He ? Who is there but Icoks on me 
with a sorrowful face ? but He can lift up the light of His counten 
ance upon me. All is against me may He not add Himself as an 
adversary ! May He tell me, may I listen to Him, if His will is 
other than I think it to be !" 

Next morning brings quite a different tone. He is 
"somehow in better spirits this morning," and he 
speaks as he feels, " What right " has his sister to judge 
him ? Has the multitude who will judge him any 
right to do so ? Who of his equals, " who of the many 
who will talk flippantly " about him, has a right ? 
Then, more mildly, " Surely I have to bear most ; 
and, if I do not shrink from bearing it, others must not 
shrink" : " May I do my best ! Am I not trying to do 
my best ? May we not trust it will turn to the best ?" 

A few days afterwards he writes again to the same 
correspondent to whom he had mentioned the " direct 
call of duty." " My own convictions," he says, " are 
as strong as I suppose they can become : only it is so 
difficult to know whether it is a call of reason, or of 
conscience. I cannot make out if I am impelled by 
what seems clear , or by a sense of duty." This dis 
poses, at once, of Newman s dictum, above quoted, 
"What still remained for my conversion, was" to 
change opinion itself into the clearness and firmness 
of intellectual conviction. His "conviction," it now 


appears, was as strong as it could become : and yet he 
could not act upon it. He proceeds : 

" You can understand how painful this doubt is ; so I have waited 
hoping for light, and using the words of the Psalmist, Show some 
token upon me. But I suppose I have no right to wait for ever for 
this. Then I am waiting, because friends are most considerately 
bearing me in mind, and asking guidance for me ; and, I trust, I 
shall attend to any new feelings which came upon me, should that 
be the effect of their kindness. And then this waiting subserves the 
purpose of preparing men s minds. I dread shocking, unsettling 
people. So, if I had my will, I should like to wait till the summer of 
1846, which would be a full seven years from the time that my con 
victions first began to fall upon me. But I don t think I shall last so 

" My present intention is to give up my Fellowship in October, 
and to publish some work or treatise, between that and Christmas. 
I wish people to know why I am acting, as well as what I am doing ; 
it takes off that vague and distressing surprise, What can have made 
him ! " 

This letter introduced with the words, " Now I will 
tell you more than any one knows except two friends," 
and expressing his most secret thoughts shows (what 
is absolutely hidden in his formal statements about his 
conversion) that, for guidance in a change of religion, 
he was almost totally dependent upon external " signs." 
Even the mere fact that his friends would expect him 
to go to Rome would be a kind of " token " that God 
meant him to go : his constant prayer is " Show some 
token upon me," Yet still no sufficient "token " came, 
and the strain threatened to become intolerable ; heart 
and mind were almost tired out, he says, and a dull 
aching pain, as of the heavy hand of God, pressed on 
him without intermission. 


1 70. Some kind of " sign " at last 

This could not last much longer. However much 
he loved analogy and yearned for coincidences, and 
though a text from the Old Testament appealed to 
him more powerfully than the history of a century, yet 
in such a season of darkness, there must be a limit 
to analogies and inferences from texts. Jacob had 
waited for " seven " years ; but Jacob was not imperil 
ling his eternal salvation. Newman could not wait till 
1 846. He could not finish the Doctrine of Development. 
Something must happen ; if not a " sign," then a special 
Providence, or at least a coincidence. Accordingly, it 

On 29 September Dalgairns was "received" into 
the Church of Rome at Aston by the same Father 
Dominic who had visited Littlemore, seen Newman for 
a few minutes, and offered up a prayer in the Church 
on the Day of St. John the Baptist in the preceding 
year. The new convert now came to Newman. 
Doubtless, it was from Dalgairns that Newman heard 
the strange story of Father Dominic s early aspirations 
and their fulfilment, his remarkable powers, his simple 
holiness, his being sent to England " without his own 
act," and this, too, "after thirty years (almost) wait 
ing " __ thirty " being the number of years that our 
Lord is said to have waited before He began His 
mission. In default of other more striking "signs" 
and " tokens," these facts and the fact that the day 
on which the Father had visited Oxford last year had 
been sacred to " St. John Baptist "- produced (as will 
be seen hereafter) a deep impression upon Newman s 
mind. A week after the reception of Dalgairns, 



in a preface (6 October *) to his Essay, he avows that 
the obstacle between him and Rome was u destitute 
of solid foundation." Yet the Apologia tells us that 
he worked at the Essay till " October," and, " before " 
he "got to the end" " resolved to be received." Why 
did he delay more than six days to join the true 
Church ? After his reception, he added a few more lines 
to the preface ; but they fail to answer this question. 
An extract from these (in which I italicize some signifi 
cant words) tells us that 

; when he had got some way in the printing, he recognized in him 
self a conviction of the truth of the conclusion to which the discussion 
leads, so clear as to supersede further deliberation. Shortly after 
wards, circumstances gave him the opportunity of acting upon it, and 
he felt that he had no warrant for refusing to do so." 

"Conviction"! How many months had passed 
since he had "recognized" in himself "conviction"! 
How many epithets such as "clear," "deep," "unvary 
ing," "as strong as they can become," &c., &c., had he 
not applied to them ! And what is the meaning of those 
other strange expressions ? Why " shortly " after 
wards ? Why not immediately ? Why wait for 
"circumstances" to "give him" an "opportunity"? 
Why not make an opportunity ? These mysterious 
words require to be explained : and the explanation is, 
apparently, as follows. 

" Conviction " Newman did not need ; but he could 
not act upon " conviction." He needed something 
more. The first edition of the Apologia quoted above, 
tells us what he needed. He had " determined," it 
tells us, if his convictions in favour of Rome were not 
weaker by the time he had finished his Essay, to 
make lip his mind to do something. The Essay was 
not finished, but his "convictions" were as strong as 


ever, stronger than ever, if that was possible. But he 
could not make up his mind : it was still " such a 
nuisance to take steps " ; it was " so difficult to know 
whether it was a call of reason or of conscience." For 
11 reason" he had as supreme a contempt as for con 
science he had reverence. It was his conscience that 
was not yet satisfied, even now. His conscience it was 
that made a coward of him, as of Hamlet, " sicklying 
o er " his " resolution with the pale cast of thought" ; 
and perhaps, but for Dalgairns, even now the great 
" enterprise " might have been " turned awry " and 
have " lost the name of action." 

171. Newman assents to a proposition made 
to him " 

Of all this the Apologia gives us not a hint. The first 
edition is very mysterious indeed. From that, no one 
could help supposing * that Newman took the natural 
course of sending for Father Dominic at once, or else 
that the Father came to Littlemore on a chance visit, 
without being sent for. There is not the least intima 
tion that pressure was put on Newman by some one else 
who sent for him. The words which I italicize in a para 
graph inserted in the later edition, show that Newman 
did not send for him : yet these, as will be seen, suggest 
a new difficulty : 

" One of my friends at Littlemore had been received into the 
Church on Michaelmas Day, at the Passionist House at Aston, near 
Stone, by Father Dominic the Superior. At the beginning of 
October, the latter was passing through London to Belgium ; and, as 
I was in some perplexity what steps to take for being received my 
self, / assented to the proposition made to me that the good priest 
should take Littlemore in his way, with a view to his doing for me 
the same charitable service as he had done to my friend." 


From this we might infer that the Passionist came to 
Littlemore " with a view to " receiving Newman into 
the Church of Rome. But the letter in which Newman 
announced his conversion to his friends, states that the 
Father, when he came, did not " know " of Newman s 
" intention " ; and implies that Newman had made 
up his mind to be received, but for some reason or 
other kept the Father in ignorance of his purpose. 

Why all this mystery ? Why this tedious " with a 
view to " ? If " view " must be used, why not say whose 
" view " ? Why, too, this " assenting to propositions " ? 
Whence this "perplexity" ? And why leave Dominic 
in the dark ? He was not quite in the dark, if we may 
believe a sympathetic biographer, who, writing from 
the Roman point of view, states the facts as follows : 
Soon after the reception of Dalgairns, Father 
Dominic " received a message bidding him go quickly 
from Aston to Littlemore to fulfil a work in Gods 
service " ; the Father had "no knowledge of what 
was required, but he set off at the instant." This bid 
ding to " come quickly," this " setting off at the instant," 
this message about the "work in God s service," 
if they did not convey "knowledge" must have 
assuredly supplied grounds for at least a very strong 
conjecture. Why did the Apologia tell us nothing 
about all this ? It seems worth looking into. 

On this, the most momentous crisis of his life, and 
on his own part in determining it, Newman can hardly 
be supposed to have been grossly inaccurate. The dif 
ferent accounts can be reconciled by a close study of 
detail, and by bearing in mind Newman s too subtle 
discrimination in the use of words. Reading between 
the lines, and asking ourselves, " W 7 ho was it that sent 
the message to the Passionist ? " we seem to see the 


order of events, thus ; and, if correct, the explanation 
shows Newman consistent to the last. 

The passage quoted from the later editions of the 
Apologia says that Newman " was in some perplexity 
what steps to take for being received." It would 
appear that this "perplexity " included in its scope the 
lime, as well as the manner and means, of being " re 
ceived." Otherwise, how could there have been any 
" perplexity " as to the "steps" to be taken? Was 
there not old Father Newsham of St. Clement s, 
Oxford, who would have been only too happy to receive 
him, and who, after his conversion, is recorded to have 
called at Littlemore "perpetually breaking out into 
ripples of laughter," because, "at last, grace had done 
its work, and he had as his parishioner at St. Clement s 
the great Mr. Newman of St. Mary s." True, there 
was more romance about the Passionist s career, and 
Newman might prefer to be received by the latter. 
But, where faith exists, one priest, we must assume, can 
" receive " a convert as validly as another. And in a 
question of this kind, "Am I safe, if I die to-night?" 
it seems incredible that Newman z/he had really made 
up his mind should have delayed six or seven days 
risking his eternal salvation on mere points of taste 
and personal feeling. The inference is that, although 
Newman had determined " to make up his mind," yet 
his mind was NOT yet made up, and he could not make 
it up* 

At this crisis, therefore, Dalgairns urged him at least 
to let the Passionist give him a call at Littlemore : and 
he probably represented to Newman that, about this 
time, the Father was to go to Belgium,^ so that he 
might, without much inconvenience, take Littlemore in 
the way ; and that, even if nothing came of it, there 

D D 2 


would be no harm in a mere passing visit of that kind. 
Newman s consent was obtained, but on the express 
condition that the Father should not be informed of 
what was, possibly, pending, so that Newman might hold 
himself still free, not committing himself to anything 
definite. Dalgairns, a recent and fervid convert,* 
obeyed the letter rather than the spirit, of the condition 
to which he had bound himself. He did not indeed 
tell Dominic that he must come at once to "receive" 
Newman, but he bade him " come quickly to Littlemore 
to fulfil a work in Gods service." Dominic, who is 
said to have combined in a singular degree piety and 
" shrewdness," could hardly fail to understand what 
this meant, especially as he had probably been already 
prepared by Dalgairns at Aston for something of the 
kind. Naturally, therefore, he " set off at the instant." 
Whether Newman was afterwards informed by his 
friend of the nature of the message forwarded to 
Aston, and of the extent to which he was committed, 
there is no evidence to show. In any case, the general 
drift of concurring events now at last determined him 
to take action which less sceptical and less imaginative 
minds would have taken years before. On 8 October, 
while expecting Father Dominic every hour, he wrote 
a circular letter, which was not to go till he had been 
formally received. To his Tractarian friends he enu 
merated the " tokens " above mentioned ; how the 
Passionist from his youth had been " led to have dis 
tinct and direct thoughts, first of the countries of the 
North, then of England," how, "after thirty years 
(almost) of waiting," he was sent to this country "with 
out his own act," how Newman saw him last year 
"for a few minutes on St. John Baptist s day." The 
letter concludes, "He does not know of my intention ; 


but I mean to ask of him admission into the one Fold 

of Christ " In his letter to his sister, with 

affectionate considerateness, he simply announces his 
intention, and adds that the letter " will not go till all 
is over." He spares her the " tokens." 

172. The end : " Faith and Reason are incom 
patible, perhaps " 

All was soon over. Newman had laid it down as a 
rule that men must not act under " exciting, tumultu 
ous conviction." But what was a man to do who 
could not act, in religious matters, under any but " ex 
citing and tumultuous " convictions ? What could he 
do, what could he have done, more, in the way of 
attempting to act with deliberation and reasonable 
ness ? The thing was impossible. He could no more 
commit himself than Hamlet could, to the awful act 
before him, in cool deliberation. Hence we can well 
believe the description of the final scene as Newman s 
biographers give it, telling us how the Passionist 
Father arrived late in the evening and amid torrents 
of rain ; how he was shown into a room where he 
stood for a while alone, drying his drenched garments 
at the fire ; and how, suddenly turning round, he saw 
the Leader of the Tractarian Party on his knees before 
him passionately declaring that he would not rise till 
he had received the Father s blessing and assurance of 
being received into the one true Church of Christ. 

" The Father bade the neophyte rise, conscious, 
says one of his friends, of a great miracle of grace. 
At eleven o clock, on that same night, Newman, and 
two other friends, had begun their confession. Alas ! 
in the. morning (as usual) the hot excitement had 


passed away. Once more the soul had fallen beneath 
the cold spell of mere intellectual conviction ; no fresh 
" sign " had arrived ; faith was felt to be chilled ; and 
the following words seem written as if in a dream, with 
the spiritual faculties all benumbed, yet yearning for 
the touch that shall release them from their torpor : 

"I am to be received into what I believe to be the one Church 
and the one Communion of Saints this evening, if it is so or 
dained. Father Dominic the Passionist is here, and I have begun 
my confession to him. I suppose two friends will be received 
with me. 

" May I have only one tenth part as much faith as I have intel 
lectual conviction where the truth lies ! I do not suppose any one can 
have had such combined reasons pressing in upon him that he is 
doing right. So far I am most blessed ; but, alas ! my heart is so- 
hard, and I am taking things so much as a matter of course, that I 
have been quite frightened that I should not have faith and contrition 
enough to gain the benefit of the Sacrament. Perhaps faith and 
reason are incompatible in one person or nearly so." 

These words about " faith and reason " are perhaps 
the last committed to paper by Newman before he was 
formally received into the Roman Church : and not 
many minutes were to pass before he was destined to 
give a proof of his sincerity in writing them, and of his 
determined thoroughness in putting them in practice. 
The story has been referred to above, but it comes 
appropriately here on the threshold of the convert s 
new life. It happened that, in the afternoon, the 
Office which Father Dominic was to recite with the 
catechumens, contained " the record of how St. Denis, 
after his martyrdom, put his head under his arm and 
walked about." Thinking that this might be " a diffi 
culty to beginners," the Father says one of Newman s 
biographers, who derives much of his information from 


Littlemore men would have passed over this incident. 
But it was no " difficulty " at all to the author of the 
Essay on Ecclesiastical Miracles. He had gone so far, 
now, that returning was more " difficult " than going 
forward. The only " difficulty " was, that even this 
simple, uneducated, holy, earnest-minded Italian of 
peasant birth, should have been himself so far alive to 
some laws of nature and principles of common sense as 
to suggest their existence to the late Fellow of Oriel 
in that solemn moment when the latter desired to offer 
up that supreme sacrifice which, as he thought, men of 
intellect can present most acceptably to Almighty God 
the sacrifice of the reason and the understanding. 
That was the difficulty for Newman and his friends. 
It was the Passionist, not the miracle, that was a 
stumbling-block to them ; "in truth," says the 
biographer, " the neophytes were a little scandalized 
at him, and not at all at it." But like all other 
difficulties, this too was surmounted. The converts 
refused to be thus treated as " beginners." The chief 
of the catechumens insisted that the headless martyr 
should be allowed to walk in accordance with the Office. 
That was the outward and visible sign of an inward 
and spiritual act a kind of tragic act. The sacrifice 
was consummated. Faith or what seemed Faith- 
came. Reason at last after nearly twenty years of 
struggle recognized her " incompatibility " and fled 
for ever. 



173. "Fierceness and Sport" again 

REASON fled. But in her place came something to 
which Newman had been for nearly a quarter of a 
century a stranger, and which he, feeling what he 
felt, might accept as a welcome substitute. What 
Protestant or what Agnostic can find it in him to 
grudge the weary wanderer that almost perfect free 
dom from religious fears and doubts which he hence 
forth appears to have enjoyed ? How intense must 
have been the sense of relief with which the conscience 
henceforth restricted itself to minor duties in a limited 
area, recognizing that it is not for any individual to 
play a part in the judgment of religious doctrines ! 
For now, at last, the groper had groped his way to 
the truth after which he had been feeling, and which, 
for many years, he had been all but touching, that, 
whereas t " the supremacy of conscience is the essence 
of natural religion, the supremacy of Apostle, or Pope, 
or Church, or Bishop, is the essence of revealed." 

Is it not pardonable, if, in the rebound from the 
special depression of the last six weary years, the 
joyous convert somewhat overstrained and exaggerated 


the note of complacency ? Dean Church describes it 
as something more than exultation. He speaks of the 
pain felt by Newman s former followers, who remained 
in the Church of England, on hearing "from the lips 
of old friends the most cruel and merciless invectives 
which knowledge of her weak points, wit, argumenta 
tive power, eloquence, and the triumphant exultation, 
at once of deliverance and superiority, could frame." 
And certainly, at first sight, it is difficult even for those 
who make allowance for Newman s sudden variations, 
to find excuses for some of his utterances after his 
change of religion. But we have to take into account 
not only the individual, but the system. " People say," 
wrote a Roman convert to Mark Pattison, in 1846 
"that converts are cocky ; but that impression 
arises in part from the fact that they who have it 
have no more than doubtful evidence for what 
Catholics have certain proof [of]. This is not a 
conviction arising from my own case, but from all 
I see around me. It would be cocky in me to 
say so : but I don t care what it is, so as I may 
urge you not to be slow about the unum necessarium 
of caring for your own soul." He adds " Depend 
upon it that you cannot expect more than probability 
out of the Catholic Church, and that you really ought 
to act on that, whether you feel inclined to do so or 
not." Newman himself went further and declared in 
1849 that "a convert, if justifiable on the grounds of 
his conversion, must be an enemy of the Communion 
he has left, and more intensely so than a foreigner 
who knows nothing about that Communion at all. 
You do me injustice," he adds, "if you think . . . . 
that I speak contemptuously of those who now stand 
where I have stood myself." 


With this explanation, Newman s "cruel and merci 
less invective " was surely logical, and it was not, in a 
sense, "cruel." In many, perhaps, of his rhetorical 
ferocities, he set out with the desire to seem, not to be, 
" cruel." Except perhaps occasionally, when he was 
carried away by his own rhetoric so that he was half per 
suaded that he was wholly in earnest, he did not mean 
all that he said. He "spoke contemptuously," there 
can be no doubt of that, spite of his denial of it above 
but he did not mean "contemptuously." As he 
confessed to Rickards and others, in old days, that 
he did not mind saying "extreme" things in order 
that he might drag others on to "the mean," so now, 
he sometimes said a little more than he meant, and 
that deliberately, in order that the dull souls of the 
multitude might understand him to mean just what 
he meant. This habit explains his deliberate avowal 
to Sir W. H. Cope about the tone of the Apologia. 
"A casual reader would think my language denoted 
anger, but it did not. ... It would not do to be tame 
and not to show indignation." 

Yet, surely, it would have been better to be angry 
and to show he was angry ! Was not he bound to be 
angry with the adversary who, as he maintained, had 
called him "a liar and knave" to his face, and of 
whom, in return, he had declared that his "word of 
honour " was equivalent to nothing ?* As one who 
desires to take the most favourable view of Newman s 
sincerity, I prefer to believe that in the case last 
mentioned he was angry, and that, after Kingsley s 
death, looking back at the signal triumph he had (for 
the time) obtained, he thought that he had not been 
angry, though he really had been. In other words, 
here, as in his previous life, he may have given 


" different reasons at different times for what he had 

I do not know whether this consideration aggravates 
or extenuates the seemingly u cruel " words which 
he hurled, as a Romanist, against his former Anglican 
friends. Ought we not to feel impatient when a man, 
who himself waited on and on in the hope of some 
"sign" or " token," delaying to quit the Church of 
his Fathers long after he had received a clear con 
viction that it was in a state of schism, afterwards 
expresses his astonishment that others, still in the 
position in which he once was, do not do at once 
what he took so long to do ? Under no circumstances 
could Newman be called " cocky"; but there is per 
haps a deliberate audacity in the tone in which 
to that same friend to whom he had confessed that 
" faith and reason" were perhaps nearly " incompat 
ible" he writes: "You have, excuse me, no pre 
tence to say you follow the Church of England." Part 
of his proselytizing novel entitled Loss and Gain is said 
by his most sympathetic biographer to be "a shade 
too farcical." Some would go further and say, per 
haps, that parts of it degenerated into something like 
buffoonery. But farce, pardonable in a novel, is less 
excusable in controversial Lectures. There, it may 
almost commit the speaker to the appearance of say 
ing what he knows not to be true. Take, for example, 
the following. " No sober man, I suppose, dreams of 
denying that, if the National Church be impure and 
unapostolical now, it has no claim to be called, pure 
and apostolical last year, or twenty years back, or for 
any part of the period since the Reformation," where 
he practically denies " sobriety " to his dearest friend 
Hurrell Froude for dreaming of the age of " the 


Nonjurors," and " the Anglo-Catholic divines " as 
" apostolical." Elsewhere, after disposing of popular 
English prejudices against Rome, he approaches 
higher arguments against her, and this is what he 
says of them : 

" Doubtless there are arguments of a different calibre, whatever 
their worth, which weigh against Catholics with half a-dozen members 
of the University, with the speculative church-restorer, with the 
dilettante divine, with the fastidious scholar, and with some others of 
a higher character of mind ; whether St. Justin Martyr said this or 
that ; whether images should be dressed in muslin, or hewed out 
of stone ; what criticism makes of a passage in the Prophets ques 
tions such as these, and others of a more serious cast, may be con 
clusive for or against the Church in the study or in the lecture-room, 
but they have no influence with the many." 

It is not creditable that so thin a plank as "and 
others of a more serious cast," should be the only inter 
vention between the words used, which are just consist 
ent with honesty, and other words which would be in 
consistent. Again, he almost imputes to some of his old 
friends a kind of utterance of false coin in the following 
passage, " The principle of those writers was this ; an 
infallible authority is necessary ; we have it not ; for 
the Prayer Book is all we have got. But since we 
have got nothing better we must use it as infallible." 
What is this but, " Sterling coin is necessary ; we have 
it not ; for base metal is all we have got. But since 
we have got nothing better, we must use it as if it were 
sterling coin " ? Does not such a charge savour of the 
Old Bailey ? 

Perhaps however the following is still worse : 

" Though it is impossible to bring the matter fairly to an issue, 
yet for that very reason, I have as much a right to my opinion as 
another to his, when I state my deliberate conviction that there are, to 


say the least, as many offences against the marriage vow among 
Protestant Ministers, as there are against the vow of celibacy among 
Catholic Priests." 

It would have been quite right and just to say that 
Protestant notions on this point exaggerated the evil ; 
or did not discriminate between this and that part of 
the Continent ; or attributed to modern times the vices 
of medievalism. But as it stands, this passage betokens 
a wilful blindness. The reader may refer above to the 
impressions formed by Newman and his friend Froude 
about the morality of the Romanist clergy in Sicily and 
Naples. Would Newman have maintained that, if he 
had been an Italian, a short visit to any part of Eng 
land would have given him the same impressions about 
Protestant Ministers ? He had not much to go upon ; 
but what he had did not justify a statement that is, 
besides, against nature and against history. In Pro 
testant Churches has it ever been found necessary to 
pass canons excluding from the houses of Ministers all 
women except their mothers, sisters, or aunts, and 
sometimes excluding even these ? Yet, while defending 
the restrictions which have contributed to make such 
frightful regulations necessary, Newman can venture 
to say, " It is not what the Catholic Church imposes 
but what human nature prompts, which leads any 
portion of her ecclesiastics into sin " * ! 

Perhaps, however, Protestants hardly make enough 
allowance for the exaltation of mind consequent upon 
introduction into a new atmosphere where there is no 
doubt at all about anything which the Church decrees 
to be right or true. In recompense for the ability to 
believe anything soever that Authority might bid him 
believe, ought we to be surprised that the convert 
placed all his faculties at the disposal of the Roman 


system ? Why should Dean Church blame the tone 
of " exultation and superiority " ? He did exult ; he 
did feel superior. That being the case, why should 
not his words express the facts ? The only blame to 
be brought against him would be if, here and there, 
his language expressed more than the facts. And even 
if this was so, we have to consider how great and 
sudden was the change, how likely to lead to inflation 
of language. 

Let us place ourselves in Newman s position on the 
morning of 8 October, 1845. At present we do not 
believe in Transubstantiation. But in twelve hours, or 
twenty-six hours at most, we shall believe not only in 
that a miracle that cannot be verified or contradicted 
by experience, and therefore comparatively easy to 
accept but in any legend, however grotesque, that the 
Church may impose upon us, possibly even in any that 
it may commend to us. What wonder, then, if, when 
we thus become new beings, all things become new to 
us, yes, and all persons as well ? It was now with 
Newman, as it was when the Via Media was in its 
beginnings and he was its prophet. Then he renounced 
his brother, and put it " upon a syllogism " ; he was so 
changed, he tells us, that people who had known him 
before, met him in the street and " did not well know 
that it was " he. All this was now being re-enacted. 
He was really the same as before ; but his Anglican 
friends could not " know " him. Now, as then, his 
behaviour "had a mixture in it both of fierceness and 
of sport." We may also add what follows in the 
Apologia, "It gave offence to many." Probably, 
too, if Newman had written an account of this period of 
his life, he would have said, about this phase of it, what 
he says about the other: "nor am I here defending it." 


174. * The Home of Christian Mirth" 

In time, the fervour of the neophyte passed away and 
but for an occasional outburst or two, more or less 
deliberate and calculated Newman grew mellow with 
old age and settled down into that gentle quietude 
which he had not cheaply purchased. By a singular 
and surprising turn of things, the close of his Roman 
ist career proved almost unromantically cheerful, agree 
able one may almost say, mirthful. There is a kind 
of irony in the destiny which made Newman, the austere 
Anglican, at St. Mary s preach a severe asceticism, and 
warn the young Oxford undergraduates that Adversity 
is a Note of the Church, and that they must look to it 
lest thev should have forfeited the privilege of afflic 
tion : and then, as a Romanist, in the Oratory at Bir 
mingham, take to a life that had no pretence of asceti 
cism, which indeed " was not contemplated by the 
Oratory Rules."* His prayer for himself and his friends, 
he said, was, not for those heavy trials some saints 
have asked for persecution, calumny, reproach but 
simply that they might be overlooked, passed over as 
members of the crowd. Those who knew him at this 
time have testified to the width and versatility of his 
tastes and interests the delight which he could derive 
from a good story from Pickwick, or from one of Miss 
Austen s novels ; the fund of anecdote, wit, and 
humour with which he enlivened the social evenings of 
the Oratorians over their coffee ; the youthful enthu 
siasm with which he would throw himself into a 
musical entertainment, or assist the boys in getting up 
a play, or rehearsing a play of Terence, and the almost 
excessive histrionic power with which he would repre- 


sent a drunken slave, or a cunning parasite, or a 
passionate young lover ; and all this is the more 
delightful because there was nothing in it that was not 
in conformity with the Rule of the Patron of his order,, 
St. Philip Neri. 

The object of St. Philip was to put the theory and 
the practice of the Roman Church before unbelievers 
in a mild, genial, persuasive, and, we may almost say, 
worldly fashion, so as to insinuate it even into some 
what carnal and pleasure-loving minds. The Principal 
of the Birmingham Oratory has himself thus sung (alas,. 
16 sung " ? or " said " ?) the praises of his Patron : 

" This is the Saint, who, when the world allures us, 

Cries her false wares, and opes her magic coffers, 
Points to a better city, and secures us 
With richer offers." 

St. Philip himself appears to have been an ascetic, accord 
ing to Protestant notions, as we may judge from New 
man s "song" (or shall we say " verses ?")on the Saint: 

" If scanty my fare, yet how was he fed ? 
On olives and herbs and a small roll of bread. 
Are my joints and bones sore with aches and with pains ? 
Philip scourged his young flesh with fine iron chains. 

"A closet his home, where he, year after year, 
Bore heat or cold greater than heat or cold here ; 
A rope stretch d across it, and o er it he spread 
His small stock of clothes ; and the floor was his bed."* 

But perhaps this last poem was intended to help the 
young Oratorians to bear a simple and non-luxurious 
life by contrasting it with their Patron s superior self- 
denial. Perhaps the most interesting feature of all in 
St. Philip s system, and the one which ought most to 


make us rejoice to find Newman conforming to it, was 
the stress which he appears to have laid on " love." 
During his early Anglican career, Newman, it will be 
remembered, put " love " far off, as being, at that time, 
a luxury, and laid stress on the necessity of " hate." 
But now, if he was duly imitating his Patron, he must 
have altered his thoughts : 

" Love is his bond, he knows no other fetter, 
Asks not our all, but takes whate er we spare him, 
Willing to draw us on from good to better, 
As we can bear him." 

It is refreshing to read that, amid these peaceful pur 
suits, the English St. Philip seems to have found his 
heart more open than in the earlier part of his Roman 
career, to those whose religious opinions differed from 
his own. He was very free, we are told, in his 
readiness to give his blessing to, or to say mass for, 
Protestants; always strong on the "good faith," or 
" invincible ignorance," of pious people " who died out 
side the Church ; and one would almost have supposed 
that, in his judgment, they lost nothing on that account." 
Here, then, we may take leave of this once anxious 
seeker after a system of salvation ; nor shall we have 
the heart to say, " Talis cum sis, utinam noster esses" 
On the contrary, for his own sake, as well as for ours, 
we must say, though with regret, that it was well that 
he should go out from among us because " he was not 
of us." 

One of his pupils at the Oratory has thus described 
the sacrifice demanded from the followers of St. 
Philip : " A man s perfection, taught St. Philip Neri, 
lies in the space of three lines and, so saying he 
placed his fingers on his forehead. It was mental 



asceticism, what the Italians bluntly call the sacrifice 
of the Intellect, that was demanded of Newman as an 
Oratorian priest." To a similar effect is Newman s 
eulogy of the Order of the Jesuits written but a few 
days before his joining the Church of Rome : " It 
may fairly be questioned whether, in an intellectual age, 
when freedom both of thought and of action is so dearly 
prized, a greater penance can be devised for the soldier 
of Christ than the absolute surrender of judgment and 
will to the command of another." To this effect, also, 
was his last utterance on his Anglican death-bed, which 
avowed the probable incompatibility of faith and 
reason. For one who thought thus, it was better, 
perhaps, that "reason" should be sacrificed. At all 
events, it was better that, having been once slain, it 
should not rise again. What friend of Newman, what 
friend of humanity, could wish that it had been other 
wise, or could have desired that in the later clays of a 
prolonged life he should have felt one momentary mis 
giving at the course to which he was irrevocably com 
mitted ? Nevertheless, sympathize with him as we 
may, we are not precluded from feeling a sense of relief, 
and even a sense of fitness, when he carries his convic 
tions beyond the pale of the English Church. Such 
sacrifices as he consummated are not of an English 
I trust, not of an Anglican, atmosphere. 

Newman never repented, never looked back with 
sorrow. Strange perversity, nay, happy perversity of 
things ! The contemplated Anglo-Catholic monastery 
at Littlemore suggests to us tentative gropings in 
the dark after a truth that seemed to evade the touch ; 
confused and almost chaotic wanderings of thought ; 
agonizing searchings of heart yes, almost too much 
of the New Testament Blessing of Adversity and 


Privilege of Affliction ; but in the Oratory at Birming 
ham the Principal will find liberally poured out upon 
him not only that peace which comes from a confi 
dence, first in Ecclesiastical, and then (for Newman will 
live to see that " Development") in Papal Infallibility, 
but a rich measure also of the Old Testament Blessing 
of Prosperity, and gladness of heart, and cheerfulness of 
countenance. To that we now leave him. There, in 
his new home, he will do a work worthy of the English 
St. Philip : he will " put from him monastic rule and 
authoritative speech, as David refused the armour of 
the King." No state, no dignity, for him. He will 
be but an ordinary individual priest as others ; and his 
weapons shall be " but unaffected humility and unpre 
tending love." All he does will be done " by the light 
and fervour and convincing eloquence of his personal 
character and his easy conversation." 

In these words did Newman at once describe the 
life of his Patron and predict his own faithful imitation 
of it. We cannot but linger over the strange contrast 
between his past and his future. In the hard, cold, 
" austere " Oxford days, he had once, after the manner 
of John the Baptist, rebuked the young Oxonians for 
venturing to rejoice in the Lord, and, prophet-like, 
had chidden the priests of his people for "dropping 
one whole side of Christianity, its austere character " ; 
but now he himself will, with such a delicate geniality 
and unworldly worldliness commend the non-austere 
side of the Roman System to his countrymen, that he 
will even be suspected by some of his own Church to 
be minimizing the claims of religion. Following in the 
joyous path of his Italian patron he will make it his 
object that "his room shall go by the agreeable nick 
name of the Home of Christian Mirth. " Yet let 

E E 2 


none suppose that in this peaceful and pleasurable 
retirement he will not be doing good service for the 
Church of his adoption. The good taste and good 
feeling which will make him sometimes abstain from 
attempts to proselytize in his old age, when strangers 
come to consult him, will probably be far more destruc 
tive of anti- Roman prejudices than all the mordant 
irony and cruel wit of the Lectures on Anglicanism. 
Not even his most jealous rivals in the Church of 
Rome will be able to deny that he is still a champion 
militant for them, wearing the light armour of St. Philip 
Neri with effectiveness as well as with vivacity and 
grace. It will not be magnificent ; but it will be war. 
With what words shall we Protestants, to whom he 
will be, henceforth, theologically dead, bid our fasci 
nating enemy a final farewell, as we escort him to his 
tomb ? If we regard the strange story of his ever- 
circling yet ever-narrowing career as a history, not of a 
"quintessence of dust," but of that " piece of work called 
man," so "noble in reason," so "infinite in faculty," 
and "in apprehension so like a god," we can honestly 
call it by no other name than a Soul s Tragedy. Yet 
it is a tragedy with compensations ; it is one in which 
the end brings with it a mournful yet resigned recog 
nition of necessity, fitness, and retribution. It is not 
as we would have it : but, things being what they were, 
it could not have been otherwise. We would have 
managed the play better, of course. We would have 
made Hamlet kill his uncle like a soldier and a gentle 
man, marry Ophelia like a lover, and die a respected 
King of Denmark. But the great Artist decreed 
otherwise ; and we cannot help liking his Hamlet better 
than we should have liked our own. Some things our 
tragic heroes have taught us to do ; some things to 


abstain from doing. Let us be grateful for both. 
Turning the last page of this drama of spiritual invo 
lution, we may feel inclined to give a religious tone to 
our good-bye. Yet, somehow, we cannot like a tribute 
paid in the language of Scripture. It is enough to 
have recognized that, in the centre, though not in the 
precincts, of his heart, there was some spark of that 
vitalizing faculty which he called " trust," and which 
partially redeemed what he called his " faith." But we 
cannot bid him farewell in the phrases of St. Paul or 

Insensibly we fall back again into scenic language. 
We are the Chorus in a Greek play. Poor, blind, 
old CEdipus, after all his harrowing adventures, has 
now at last received honourable burial, and his 
tomb will be henceforth a shrine. He has passed 
through horrors, such as no mortal could have chosen. 
Still, it is over now, and he is a name, at least in 
literature, for more than one generation. Cast out 
from what he deemed the fogs of his native Bceotia he 
has migrated to a more serene air, where strangers 
will make much of him. Why not ? Stolid Boeotians 
as we are, we bear him no grudge. We forget his 
curses, we remember nothing but his sufferings. The 
play is finished ; we are marching off the stage, and we 
sing in the words which the Poet has put into our 
mouths, " Break off, and mourn no longer ; for of 
a truth these things are fitly decreed and fixed for 


i. Positive 

WHAT has been gained by the English nation and 
the English Church from a man who, whatever may 
be his defects, is felt by many to have had that rare 
and precious quality which we call genius ? A little of 
this keeps a whole century alive. It is therefore to be 
treasured and made the most of for public as well as 
for private use. What have we here to treasure ? 

The same biography of the Cardinal which tells us 
of the story of resolute faith in the legend of St. Denis, 
describes him on its title-page as " The Founder of 
Modern Anglicanism " ; yet, among their debts to 
Newman, would modern Anglicans recognize such a 
faith as this ? Again, Newman himself habitually said, 
both publicly and in private, that Tractarianism was 
indebted for its first rapid and startling successes to 
something " in the air." By this he meant (and some- 
si times specified in detail) the influences of the poets, the 
novelists, the growing reaction from English insularity, 
and a general tendency to thoughts and theories of life, 
deeper and fuller than those of the i8th century. 
That there were influences at work, favouring Tract 
arianism, none can deny, although perhaps Newman 
somewhat exaggerated them, even to the extent of 


underrating his own part in the work. Much, very 
much, was doubtless due to the attractiveness and 
incisiveness with which he, at the outset, placed the 
objects of the Movement before the public ; much also 
to the indefinite and indescribable personal influence 
by which he pressed workers into his ranks, and 
infected them with his own zeal. But on the other 
side we have to set the uneasiness, at first, and the 
division, at last, which Newman s undermining restless 
ness and ever-innovating subtlety caused in the ranks 
of his own Party ; and, in particular, the terrible shock 
which Tract 90 gave to thousands, clergy, laity, Angli 
cans, and Dissenters. Hence rose that long-enduring 
suspicion of " Jesuitism" which the author of the 
Tract bequeathed as his legacy to the Party which he 
was soon to leave. Then came his secession to Rome, 
a terrible blow, sufficient one might have supposed 
to destroy the Tractarian hopes root and branch. As 
if that were not enough, in later years, their versatile 
Chief, turning on his own friends with merciless irony, 
rhetorically demolished them. He proved, if rhetoric 
could prove, that they had no right even to exist, and, 
being, so to speak, their spiritual parent, he ought to 
have known. If they were not destroyed, must there 
not have been something in their favour over and 
above a leader of irregular and uncontrollable genius ? 
Was there not something indeed "in the air," the 
" stars in their courses " fighting on the Tractarian 
side ? 

That they were not destroyed, is a matter, for some, 
of regret : for others, of exultation ; for all, of cer 
tainty. They not only exist but flourish. Why is 
this ? May it not be perhaps, because the New 
Anglicanism, while not going all lengths with its 


so-called Founder in the depreciation of Reason, has 
learned (and from him in part) to develop other and 
wider religious faculties besides those exercised by 
Evangelicalism ? It has made common people dimly 
perceive that like " the English Constitution," so, too, 
the " Christian Church " is an organic whole, a growth ; 
not to be hastily discarded, or remade on paper, but to 
be studied with reverence, and to have lessons derived 
from it for present and future use. This, too, some 
have perceived, not only about the Church as a whole, 
but also about the English Church, which, with all its 
anomalies, they have come to regard with a mingled 
spiritual and patriotic affection, as a great national fact, 
a home of religious freedom and religious common- 
sense, suited to England and worth making an effort to 
retain and (some would add) from time to time to 
reform. Directing the minds of men to these broad 
and general views the New Anglicanism has probably 
done good service in diverting them from the study of 

O O J 

critical theology till the time should arrive when 
criticism, commanding a wider field, would at once be 
ampler, truer, and more temperate, and when Faith, 
resting on a more solid foundation of indisputable fact, 
and more confident in her ultimate conclusions, would 
be more patiently and willingly receptive of the de 
monstrations, and even the suggestions, of Reason. It 
has also given to English religion which had been 
somewhat bourgeois and gross a spirit, if sometimes 
austere, at least unworldly. 

Again, has not the New Anglicanism, though with 
results of mingled good and evil, been unconsciously 
advancing on lines laid down by Nature ? It attempts, 
at least, to include (and this it may have learned from 
Newman) the whole of life, and to bring all sorts and 


conditions of men within its scope. It tries to cover 
the year with Saints days, feasts, memorials ; the day 
with appointed " hours" for religious devotions. It 
endeavours to make all life nominally and formally 
sacramental. It does not think scorn to learn from 
Rome methods of appealing to the imagination, to the 
hopes, and sometimes to the fears, of the unlearned 
and sensuous multitude, who cannot reason, or com 
pare, or judge, but can feel, and can dimly discern 
invisible possibilities through visible signs, rites, and 
ceremonies. Newman knew well, and taught his 
followers, that no man can be said to know anything 
of religious importance till he has done something in 
consequence of it. So far as he imbued his party with 
this very practical truth he helped them to success. 
Whatever is done regularly, in the definite name of 
religion, drives a nail through the character, and fixes 
a man in his adherence to what he professes. 

Of course a great deal depends upon how it is done. 
God, as some old Father said, " cares more for adverbs 
than for verbs." One convert may beat a big drum, or 
start a hymn in the presence of an angry crowd ; 
another may fast ; another may give away a tenth 
of his income in offertories ; another may regularly 
attend early communion ; and if all these actions 
are done simply upon the authority of some spiritual 
director, without a particle of love for Him in whose 
name Christians are supposed to do what they do, 
the doer merely forms a habit of trusting and obeying 
the authority, not Him. Yet some of the actions 
most enjoined by the Christian Churches are of such 
a kind that a man can hardly do them regularly with 
out catching something of the spirit in which they 
ought to be done. One reason why the High Church 


may have progressed, while Evangelicals have rela 
tively stood still, may it not be this : that whereas the 
latter have refrained from enjoining deeds, the former 
have recognized that " doing " is an appointed method 
of forming a habit, and of learning an art, and among 
other arts, the art of living rightly ? 

2. Negative 

I have confined myself to those points of the New 
Anglicanism, in which it seems indebted to Newman, 
There are others where no such debt can be acknow 
ledged. So far as Anglicans have rebelled against 
ignoble fears, * narrowing limitations, and the yoke of 
the letter of the Scripture, we are indebted to other 
sources. And against Newman s benefits must be set, 
besides other evils, a confusion as to the meaning and 
province of faith for which he appears largely respon 
sible. By doing good acts we gain insight into, and 
faith in, goodness. Learning to love it and trust 
it, we learn to love and trust the Author of it, and 
dimly to perceive that His love is illimitable. But a 
world of such acts would not enable us to learn 
whether oxygen and hydrogen make air or water ; or 
whether Anglican Priests and Bishops have preserved 
the chain of Apostolical Succession without a link 
unbroken ; or whether Christ was born in Nazareth or 
Bethlehem. For ascertaining such facts as these, 
theologians have other faculties bestowed on them ; 
and we are bound to use them, wherever such facts 
are seriously and disinterestedly questioned. 

No doubt, faith plays a part, indirectly, in all the 
most important human affairs. Among helps to weigh 
ing evidence, comes knowledge of human nature ; the 
want of which makes a fool believe every one, and a 


cynic believe no one. Thus, a moral element steps 
into our judgments about some kinds of evidence, and 
hence into our judgment about the truth or falsehood 
of facts ; and so it is possible that a man might argue 
that " God could not allow us to be mistaken about 
Apostolical Succession, or about the place of the birth 
of Christ." But, on the other hand, we find that God 
has allowed men to make all sorts of mistakes about 
Him ; and these men, not only heathen but Christian; 
and these facts, not only secular but religious ; that is 
to say historical facts, or facts of nature, recorded in 
our religious books : so that, on the whole, His 
principle (if we may so say) appears to have been that 
by the honest use of all our faculties we should 
gradually, but only gradually, arrive at higher and 
higher stages of all kinds of knowledge. This being 
the case, what reason have we for thinking that fasting 
and almsgiving though they must teach us self-denial, 
and may strengthen us in benevolence will teach us 
any more about Biblical or Ecclesiastical history than 
about chemistry or geology ? It is in vain that some 
theologians still, even in these days, protest that 
they will resolutely believe in the literal inspiration of 
the Bible, and will trust to God to guide their steps, 
believing that such docility must be acceptable to 
Him. Such faith as this is excusable in the multi 
tude : but in the trained theologian it is, at best, a 
blindness ; at the worst, a sin against the Light. Yet 
such was Newman s, in part, blindness, in part, perhaps, 
something worse, which led him to declare as his last 
Anglican utterance, that " faith and reason were perhaps 
incompatible or nearly so," and, as his last Anglican 
act, to demand to be allowed to signify his belief in a 
patent falsehood. 


The taint of this legacy still clings to Anglicanism 
And, with the increase of our knowledge of the 
material world, of the history of religions, and o 
human nature, it is becoming more and more dan 
gerous. There are signs, however, that the rising 
generation of High Churchmen may free themselves 
from it. Besides recognizing the danger of committing 
Christianity to an internecine strife with nature, some 
of them appear to be catching a glimpse of a far 
nobler truth the spiritual naturalness of the Christian 
religion. As our faith is adapting itself to the 
new knowledge of science, so it must adapt itself 
to our new knowledge of humanity. I do not mean 
merely its physiology, but its aspirations, visions, 
imaginations, the processes of its noblest spiritual 
actions. For want of right notions about faith, and 
respect for the teaching of facts, some Anglicans appear 
to be in danger of errors which St. Paul might 
have called " Judaizing." Newman was certainly a 
" Judaizer." 

The religion of Christ as set forth in the First 
Chapter of the Fourth Gospel is pre-eminently a 
natural religion, natural, at least, to those who recog 
nize as Moses and Plato taught that there is nothing 
more like God than a good and just man. Why are 
some Christians so frightened of facts ? Why, with all 
the aids that Christ has given them, can they not 
endure to see life whole, the evil as well as the good, 
and why can they not be certain (in the strength of 
Christ) that the good, in the end, will triumph ? Again, 
what is there so alarming in the most negative viev/s 
of advanced criticism ? I mean, of course, historical 
criticism, which deals with facts and with intermediate 
causes, that is to say, true criticism. I do not mean 


that hybrid pseudo-scientific criticism which really is 
faith (of a bad sort) though it calls itself science 
which would presume to dogmatize about the ultimate 
causes and motives of things. But, having in mind 
true and fair criticism of the facts of the New Testa 
ment and the History of the Church, I do not see 
how the full and hearty acceptance of it can prevent a 
man s heart from going forth to Jesus of Nazareth as 
being Light of Light, God of God, very God of very 
God infinitely more "the very God" than that 
false phantom of a non-human Christ w r hich haunted 
Newman like a nightmare, " the Judge severe, e en in 
the Crucifix." 

Never will such worship as this be shaken by a 
belief that, when our Lord was upon earth, His finite 
wisdom, science, prescience, and judgment, were not 
proportioned to the infinity of His love. Still less will 
men be repelled by doubts concerning this or that 
detail of His life, death, and resurrection. They will 
expect errors in all human accounts about these things, 
as they expect to find light refracted in passing 
through the atmosphere in which they breathe. They 
will worship Him, in part, at least, because He has 
helped them to see that human nature at its best is 
divine and most worthy of all things to be worshipped ; 
and the more they study and exercise the noblest 
faculties of humanity, so much the more natural will 
their worship become. 

Thus having nature for their teacher they will grow 
in reverence for facts and in detestation of lies, and in 
the end they will find that, whatever facts they may be 
compelled to deny though they once asserted them, or 
to assert though they once denied them, they will 
have lost nothing which is essential to the highest, 


noblest, and most vitalizing faith. " Fact is corrupt 
ing it is we who correct it by the persistence of our 
ideal " : is that quite true ? Facts are corrupting 
to a corrupt mind ; not to one that hears in them God s 
Word teaching us what to love and hate. Facts are 
divine voices ; facts cleanse and cool our heated and 
defiled imaginations ; by constant reference to facts we 
keep our aspirations sane, and our religion honest and 
sincere ; depart from facts, and the ecclesiastic remakes 
humanity on his monastic pattern and God as the 
great Archmonk ; without facts, ever kept in view, 
worship becomes hypocrisy or hysterics, and conscience 
alternates between the inflation of a false prophet and 
the self-conviction of a morbid hollowness : shut your 
eyes to facts and you open the inward eye to all 
manner of servile terrors and creeping fears and 
diabolical phantoms ; through facts, with love and hope 
and faith as our guides, we pass upward, exchanging 
the illusive for the less and less illusive, till we draw 
near to the truth itself, which alone can make us 

Newman spoke of facts as " illusions " ; but he 
treated them as " delusions." In this belief, he did 
not so much neglect them as scorn them and take a 
delight in trampling on them. Hence, though he 
would take incredible pains not to contradict a Father 
or a Divine, he wrote as if he enjoyed flying in the face 
of Nature and History. Sometimes he wrote as an 
egotist, regarding himself as under the special care of 
a Providence that would not let him go wrong, and 
would enable him to do in six months what an ordinary 
man could not do in six years ; sometimes he wrote as 
one who despised himself, calling himself " hollow," 
histrionic, a mere " rhetorician," with no "convictions" 


of his own, hopeless of " possessing the truth." In 
either case, the result was the same. Beneath an 
exquisite varnish or veneer of style, the real work was 
always rough and slovenly and bad. Why not ? Why 
take so much pains about facts, and evidences, and the 
like, when perhaps the Unknown Artist, in whose 
hands he was a mere instrument, wished him not to 
take pains, not to be elaborate about facts and minutely 
careful as to evidences, but to content himself with 
rough and almost random work " antecedent proba 
bilities," " presumptions," " guesses " leaving it to 
Him to produce u conviction " ? 

"There s a Divinity that shapes our ends, 
Rough-hew them how we will." 

There is indeed. But still we, too, have our part, 
which may well task all our faculties. It may be done 
thoroughly, seasonably, deliberately, persistently. In 
one word, it may be workmanlike. And the " shaping " 
of the " Divinity " may it not depend upon our 
" rough-hewing " ? So at least Hamlet found it ; so, 
perhaps, did Newman ; so may others. If writing 
about facts is to be our " rough-hewing," we may do 
well to beware lest it be too " rough." Newman has 
left us something to imitate, much more to avoid. Our 
debt to him is negative rather than positive. Not to 
despise God s facts, and not to be afraid of God s 
justice, are the two great lessons to be learned by all 
Englishmen, but especially by English theologian?, 
from Newman s Anglican career. 


VOL. II f f 


THE following abbreviations are used : A. = Apologia (Newman s) ; 
C. = Church s Oxford Movement; E. T. M. = Mr. E. T. Mozley s 
Reminiscences; Eluc. = Newman s Elucidations of Hampden s Ramp- 
ton Lectures ; Exp. = Expositor (Papers in, by Mr. A. W. Hutton) ; 
F. = Mr. Fletcher s Cardinal Newman; F. W. N. = Professor F. W. 
Newman s Early Life of Cardinal Newman; H. = Hare s (Julius Charles) 
Charges; H. B. L. = Hampden s Hampton Lectures 1 ; J. M. = James 
Mozley s Letters; K. = Keble, Life of, by Right Hon. Sir J. T. Coleridge ; 
L. = Letters (Newman s); O. = Mr. Oldcastle s Cardinal Newman; 
P. = Poems (Newman s) ; Phil. = " Philomythus? by the author ; R. = 
Remains of R. H. Froude, vol. i. ; R. H. H. = Mr. R. H. Hutton s 
Cardinal Newman; S. = Sermons (Newman s) Plain an i Parochial (in 
the first three vols. the earliest edition has been used) ; Subj. = Sermons 
(Newman s) on Subjects of the Day ; T. = Thirl wall s (Bishop) Charges ; 
U. = University Sermons (Newman s) ; V. = Via Media (Newman s) ; 
W. = Ward, Life of, by Mr. Wilfrid Ward ; Wh. = Whately, Life of, 
by Miss Whately; W. M. = Mr. Wilfrid Meynell s Cardinal Newman. 

Arabic numerals indicate the page ; Roman, the volume. But in 
reference to the Plain and Parochial Sermons, the first Arabic numeral 
indicates the number of the sermon, and the second, the number of the 
page. Passages from the first three volumes of these sermons are 
quoted from the first edition ; but the number of the sermon will enable 
the possessor of the later editions to verify without much difficulty. 

Where the date of a letter is given in the text, the reference to the page 
of Newman s Letters is sometimes omitted in the Notes, as the letters are 
almost all in chronological order. 

The letters a, b, c, &c. after the number of a page in the text, refer to 
the first, second, third, &c. paragraphs in the text. Thus, "124 (c), 
S. ii. 12, 143," would mean that in the third paragraph of page 124, there 
is a reference to the Sermons (Plain and Parochial), vol. ii.. number 12, 
page (isted.) 143. 

1 T. W. = Isaac Williams s Autobiography (1892), which has been used in re 
vising the Notes : he was, for some years, Newman s curate, and on affectionate 
terms with him till his death in 1865. 

F F 2 


CHAPTER XIX (1833-36) 

i (a) C. 113-4 ; 3 (a) "one who has a right to judge." Mr. Gladstone 
(W. M. 19) ; 3 (b) W. M. 19-20 ; 6 (a) L. ii. 434 ; 7 (a) W. M. 35 ; 8 (a) 
St. Paul, Rom. i. 16-18 ; II (b) S. V. 20. 290, 3 March 1839 J I2 ( a ) " Gifts 
of Civilization," p. 48. 

1 6 (a)* "grovelling worms." I am inclined to think that the late Bishop 
of Carlisle (Contemporary, Jan. 1892) touched the radical cause of New 
man s religious fears in saying that Newman attributed to Jesus of Nazareth 
such attributes as tend to destroy His humanity and remove Him from 
our affection, so that we need a second Mediator to reveal Jesus to us. 

Hence, besides confessing in the Poems t iat he can never cease to look 
on Jesus as " the Judge severe e en in the Crucifi ;," he regards the "gift of 
power" as being possessed by Him, not in order that He might manifest 
His love to men by healing their diseases, but that He " may be feared " 
(U. 86-7). He speaks of Christ s manifesting Himself to but a few after 
His resurrection, not as though it were a spiritual necessity arising from 
the law of Faith, but as if Christ (like some Chinese Emperor or King 
of Siam) stood upon royal ceremony: S. i. 23. 295-312, " Kings do not 
court the multitude . . . they act by means of their servants and must be 
s ought \yy those who would gain favour from them. . . . He was no longer 
a servant, washing His disciples feet and dependent " [was He ever 
" dependent"?] " upon the wayward will of the multitude. ... As kings 
have their days of state, on which they show themselves publicly to their 
subjects, so the Lord appointed a meeting." So again (ib. 304-5) " In the 
feelings of inferiors towards superiors fear must ever go before love. 
Till he who has authority shows he has it and can use it, his forbearance 
will not be valued duly ; his kindness will look like weakness." In other 
words we cannot love Christ as a Redeemer until we fear Him as a For- 
bearer. Still more striking is the following (Subj. 139): "The truth is r 
we Christians know too much concerning Him to endure the open mani 
festation of His greatness. It is in mercy that He hides Himself from 
those who could be overcome by the sensible touch of the Almighty 
Hand. . . . The very secrecy of His coming has its solemnity : is it not 
fearful to wait for Him, appalling to receive Him, a burden to have held 
communion with Him ? 

The very next sentence tells us that we are to feel "joy " in Him ; and 
all Newman s sermons are full of such incongruities. But the passages 
quoted describe his fundamental feeling that Christ is " the Judge 

I am speaking, of course, simply of Newman s Anglican period. I have 
noted indications that in the course of his Roman period he shook off 
something of this feeling, and something also of that essentially anti- 
Christian sense of spiritual solitude which pervaded his Anglican career. 
Cor cordi loquitur, was the motto he chose, as Cardinal. Contrast this- 
with the note on 30 (a) below. 


CHAPTER XX (1836) 

22 (a) E. T. M. ii. 147 ; 23 (a) L. ii. 193 ; 23 (c) L. ii. 192 ; 29 (b) S. 
iv. 20. 300; 30 (a)* Comp. S. i. 2. 23, "And as to those others nearer to 
us, who are not to be classed with the vain world, I mean our friends and 
relations, whom we are right in loving, these too, after all. are nothing to 
us here. They cannot really help or profit us ; we see them and they act 
upon us, only as it were at a distance, through the medium of sense ; they 
cannot get at our souls ; they cannot enter into our thoughts, or really be 
companions to us." 

This dreary doctrine fatal to true Christianity he calls " sublime, un- 
looked for." He deduces it (ib. 22) from " the nothingness of the world" 
which, at length "floats before our eyes merely as some idle veil, which, 
notwithstanding its many tints, cannot hide the view of what is beyond 
it ; and we begin, by degrees, to perceive that there are but two beings 
in the whole universe, our own soul and the God who made it." 

30 (a) L. ii. 75 ; 31 (a) S. ii. 18. 239; 31 (c)* " trust not faith. " To 
Froude (L. ii. 220) of Jan. 1830, he speaks of "vows" (of Celibacy) as, 
possibly, " evidences of want of faith" Revising the letter as a Romanist, 
he twice corrects " faith " by substituting " trust." There are many indica 
tions that he would have accepted this correction, long before he joined 
the Church of Rome. 

33 (a) " Never saw his congregation." Mr. A. W. Hutton (Exp. 1890, 
p. 237) quotes this as a statement made to him by Newman himself. 


37 (a)* " It would oblige me," he says (L. ii. 16), "to take up a line of 
reading somewhat out of my present course ; yet it might be the means of 
giving me influence with the undergraduates." This was the time when 
he ought to have been systematically studying the Anglican divines. 

38 (a) L. ii. 170; 39 (a)* "till 1836." E. T. M. (i. 352) says that Newman, 
when pressed by Rose to answer Hampden s Lectures, declined owing to 
the " personal question," i.e. his having been supplanted in the Oriel tutor 
ship by Hampden, which, of course, would make N. unwilling to resort 
to an action that might be imputed to malignity. The same author 
afterwards (ib. 369) adds that " Newman also had looked into " the 
Lectures. But all this comes under the general date of 1836. And on 
the whole it rather confirms, than otherwise, the supposition that, up 
to 1836, if he had read the Lectures at all, N. had merely " looked into 
them," but possibly that he had not even done that, and that he did not 
"look into them" till the eve of the Elucidations. There is a significant 
contrast between "studying" and "looking into" in the following (ib. 
368-9): "When Hampden was appointed Regius Professor his lectures 
were almost as unknown a book at Oxford as Goddard s. The Provost of 
Oriel no doubt had followed and studied them, and had probably gone 
some way with them, Newman also had looked i7ito them? 


39 (b)t " tone f piety." (In L. ii. 77) it is printed (except as regards the 
italics) thus : " While I respect the tone of piety / ;/ which the pamphlet 
is written, I feel an aversion to the principles it professes as (in my 
opinion) legitimately tending to formal Socinianism. I also lament," &c- 

In the Apologia (57), after "piety," it runs thus: "which the 
pamphlet displays, I dare not trust myself to put on paper my feelings 
about the principles contained in it ; tending as they do in my opinion 
to make shipwreck of Christian faith. I also lament," &c. 

41 (a)* "title of his lecture." It was The Scholastic Philosophy con 
sidered in relation to Christian Theology. 

43 (b) H. B. L. Ixvi. ; 46 (a) Eluc. 5 ; 46 (b) Elite. 6 ; 46 (c) Eluc. 46 ; 
47 (a) Edinburgh Review, 1836, p. 229 ; 47 (b) H. B. L. 145-7 ; 49 (a)* 
"is not revealed." Eluc. 14, "As to the doctrine of the Trinity, Dr. H. 
holds that Scripture contains certain phenomena concerning the dealings 
of the Supreme Being with man, which, when compared together, are 
remarkable and startling, and irresistibly force upon the mind that there 
is some mystery in the divine nature ; but what that mystery is, or that it 
is the very mystery which the .Catholic doctrine of the Trinity expresses, 
is, he considers, NOT REVEALED." The italics are Newman s, the capitals 

This is particularly audacious, in the face of Hampden s statement 
(quoted above on p. 47) : " No one can be more convinced than I 
am that there is a real mystery of God revealed in the Christian 
dispensation " ! 

Newman himself with his notions about " economies," and " accom 
modations to our weakness" would (I should say) be more open than 
Hampden to the charge (if it is to be made a charge) of reducing Scrip 
ture to a record of " phenomena." 

49 (b) H. B. L. 149-50. 


57 (b*)" three such unnoticed omissions." Eluc. pp. 24-5. The fol 
lowing passage from Hampden (251-2) is quoted by Newman with the 
italicized portions omitted, but with no marks of omission ; " God, no 
doubt, is abundantly placable, merciful, and forgiving. Still, the fact 
remains. \J^he offender is gtiilty ; his crime may be forgiven, but his 
criminality is still upon him. The remorse which he feels, the wounds of 
his conscience, are no fallacious things. He is sensible of them even while 
the Gospel tells him Thy sins be forgiven thee Go and sin no more! } 
The heart seeks for reparation and satisfaction ; its longings are, that its 
sins may be no more remembered, that the- characters in which it is 
written may be blotted out. Hence the congeniality to its feelings of the 
notion of Atonement. [// is no speculative thought which suggests the 
theory ; speculation rather prompts to the rejection of it; speculation 
furnishes abstract reasons from the Divine Attributes for discarding it as 
a chimera of our fears. Buf\ the fact is that we cannot be at peace 
without some consciousness of Atonement made." 


The reader will perceive that the tendency of the omissions is to 
represent Hampden as setting forth a purely subjective theory of the 
Atonement. For example (to believe Newman) " the fact remains " 
means " the fact " that the heart of the sinner " seeks for reparation " ; 
but what Hampden meant by "fact" was "the offender is guilty." 

The manner in which Dean Church deals with the unfairness of the 
Elucidations constitutes one of the most serious blemishes of his Oxford 
Movement. Newman s pamphlet, he says (C. 146-7), " was a favourite 
object of attack on the part of Hampden s supporters as a flagrant 
instance of unfairness and garbled extracts. No one, they said, ever 
read the Bampton Lectures, but took their estimate of the work from Mr. 
Newman s quotations. Extracts are often open to the charge of unfair 
ness, and always to suspicion. But in this case there was no need of 
unfairness. Dr. Hampden s theory lay on the very surface of his Bampton 
Lectures and pamphlet ; and any unbiassed judge may be challenged to 
read these works of his, and say " I italicize " whether the extracts in 
the Elucidations do not adequately represent Dr. Hampden s statements 
and arguments^ and whether the comments on them are forced or 

I do not believe any " unbiassed judge," or even " biassed," of any 
shade of religious, or irreligious, thought, provided he has the least 
tincture of literary training, will venture, in the face of the facts collected 
above, to justify Dean Church s criticism. 

58 (a) Wh. ii. 20; 58 (c) Wh. ii. 31 ; 58 (e)~S9 (a) H. ii. 10; 60 (a) 
F. W. N. 81-7; 6 1 (a) Eluc. 47; 61 (b)* "he," i.e. Newman; 61 (c)* 
"the residents also," E. T. M. says of the Lectures (i. 352), "Perhaps 
they ought to have been listened to, and perhaps they ought to have been 
read, but the question is one of fact, and they were neither " ; and of the 
Elucidations (ib. 362) " The pamphlet became the text of the controversy, 
to the shame, it must be said, of many who could have turned to the 
original lectures, and, as self-constituted judges, ought to have done so"; 
(ib. 366-7) " the great mass of the multitude that inflicted this penalty 
were very, if not entirely, ignorant of the book which was the corpus 
delicti. . . . The country members of Convocation, as fast as they came 
up, implored their resident friends, with pitiable importunity, to tell them 
all about it, generally in vain, for their resident friends knew as little 
about the book as themselves." He adds that Mr. Gladstone himself 
(ib. 376) sent a letter to Hampden thirty-four years after the delivery of 
the Lectures, saying that I quote E. T. M., not Mr. Gladstone " as it 
was utterly past his power to understand them, he had been clearly wrong 
to condemn them on the information of others." 

I do not pretend to have read, much less studied, the whole of the 
Lectures ; but such parts as I have seen would lead me to think that 
Archdeacon Hare s encomium on them is well deserved. 

63 (a) quoted by W. M. 92. The passage specially related to Tract 90. 



64 (a) L. ii. 177, 197 ; 65 (a) L. ii. 198; 65 (b) L. ii. 197, "ever since 
that time," i.e. since the period of solitude which intervened between his 
intimacy with Bowden and his intimacy with Froude. But there are many 
indications that he had " learned to throw himself upon himself" before 

65 (b) "some friend" A. 74 (it was Pusey) ; 66 (c)-6; (a) A. 56 ; 68 (a) 
L. ii. 136, 107 ; 69 (b)* "wrote." The letter is not quoted, but is referred 
to in L. ii. 185, from which the substance of it may be gathered ; 69 (c)- 
71 (b) L. ii. 185-7 (10 April, 1836) ; 70 (a)* "answers" : He seems to mean 
"forestall objections and [suggest] their answers" ; 71 (a) "disbelieved/ 
L. ii. 107 ; 71 (c) J. M. 61 ; 73 (a) L. ii. 475 ; 73 (b) S. iv. 8. 123-4, 125 ; 
73 (d) ib. ; 74 (c) ib. 126; 75 (b) ib. 130, 129: 77 (b) ib. 131-2 ; 78 (a) 
L. ii. 185; 78 (c)* "clever arrangement," see L. i. 484, "I wish them 
called the Oxford Tracts, but I cannot myself so call them, for modesty s 
sake. So I think that soon I shall advertise them as Tracts for the 
Times, by Residents in Oxford, which, of course," I italicize " will 
soon be corrupted into Oxford Tracts! 1 

Compare note on vol. i. 153 (b) above, which shows that, while Newman 
thus encouraged his followers to use this title, he shrank from publishing 
to the world the fact that they did use it. 

79 (b)* "nervous about the dedication." E. T. M. (i. 319) writes on this 
as follows : " Newman was sometimes asked why he did not enlist the 
old gentleman more directly in his cause by dedicating to him one of his 
works. The reason of this he gave in confidence to his friends. It was 
a painful one. The President had been for a very long time notoriously 
negligent of the discipline of his college. In his excessive care of himself 
and his almost morbid craving for longevity the longevity of Tithonus 
he made a rule of caring for no other person or thing, and of letting the 
college go its own way, as it did. He could even derive amusement from 
the scandals which the seniors of the college would have prevented if he 
had given them the requisite authority and support." These " early 
scruples," he continues, Newman "lived to abandon " (ib. 320) : " If a 
man will save every scruple he will have to sit still and do nothing. Yet 
it seemed to those about Newman as if a little of his bloom was rubbed 
off when he addressed what to vulgar eyes seemed a glowing panegyric 
to the faithless guardian of a great Christian college." 

The dedication is "to Martin Joseph Routh, D.D., President of Mag 
dalen College, who has been reserved to report to a forgetful generation 
what was the theology of their fathers . . . with a respectful sense of his 
eminent services to the Church and with the prayer that what he wit 
nesses to others may be his own support and protection in the day of 

I confess my "eyes"*must rank amongst "the vulgar." I thought this 
was a "panegyric." But I have no doubt E. T. M. is right in revealing the 


inner meaning may we not call it " irony " ? of the concluding words. 
The " prayer " was intended to suggest that the President wotdd need it 
-very badly, and to remind the old man (E. T. M. i. 320) of " the day of 
account ; in which he would want support and protection. " The italics 
are mine. 

79 (b) " passed through the press," L. ii. 20 ; 80 (b) " blow in the face," 
L. ii. 251 ; ft basis in reason/ A. 66 ; " the former," A. 68 (instead of " it," 
A. has "what is called Anglo-Catholicism, the religion of Andrewes, 
Laud, Hammond, &c."), 67 ; Si (b) Grammar of Assent, p. 382; "We 
are not left at liberty to pick and choose out of its (i.e. Christianity s) 
contents according to our judgment, but must receive it all, as we find it, 
if we accept it at all" ; a statement which conceals an ambiguity or 
fallacy under each of the following words or phrases (i) "left at liberty"; 
(2) " pick and choose" ; (3) " it" or " Christianity " ; (4) " contents " ; 
(5) judgment " ; (6) " receive " ; (7) " find " ; (8) " accept." 

8 1 (c) A. 67 ; 82 (b) A. 113 ; 83 (b) A. 72 ; 84 (a) L. ii. 249, R. H. 
H. 83 and 88 ; 84 (b) Bacon s Essays, xvi. 80 ; 85 (a) Sir John Davies, 
ed. Grosart, ii. 20 ; 85 (c) R. H. H. 83 ; 86 (a)* Lectures on Justifica 
tion, 67. So again (ib. 68), " If a wrong has been done you, and you 
forgive the offender, . . . you consider him to have been what he has not 
been, fair and friendly towards you." It is difficult to believe that a man 
who writes like this, can ever have forgiven anybody. It would be truer to 
say, " You consider him to be what he has not been/ or, " You consider 
that his true and real self is not represented by the past." 

It is strange that, in publishing a work full of such difficulties which, 
in his letters, he recognizes as difficult, and on which he had spent so 
much time and anxiety with such confessedly unsatisfactory results he 
should speak so confidently as he does in his preface, saying that (ib. v.) 
" nothing would meet the evil but " plain statements on the subject, 
" argued out from Scripture," and (ib. vi.) " if in them, or in anything else 
he has written, there be what readers consider more severe or con 
tentious than such an object admits, let them impute it to his firm belief 
that no wound is cured which is not thoroughly probed, and that the first 
step in persuasiveness is decision." 

86 (b) ib. 78 ; 88 (a)* "revealing nothing," Tract 85, p. 19. On this 
Mr. R. H. Hutton remarks (93), " Newman never seemed to think that 
the unveiling of God s own character was, after all, the main purpose of 
revelation. . . ." With this I heartily agree ; of course, assuming that 
the revelation of the Image of God is intended to conform man to that 

Perhaps the passage may be aimed at " Latitudinarianism," and, says 
Mr. Hutton (92), " By Latitudinarianism Newman means the view that it 
is not at all important what doctrine a man holds, so long as he acts up 
conscientiously to whatever doctrine he does honestly hold." 

But, in this sense, who is, or ever was, a " Latitudinarian " ? Did ever 
any so-called "Latitudinarian" hold "the view" that it is "not at all 
important" whether a man holds the "doctrine" that God may be pro 
pitiated by human sacrifice ? or worshipped by acts of sensuality ? or that 


a man may violate all the laws of honesty and decency if only he has 
"the spirit"? 

"Let us turn," says N. (ib. 18), "to the fact which is urged in behalf 
of Latitudinarianism. The doctrine, then, that it matters not what you 
believe, so that you act up to what you believe, is grounded," &c., &c. Who 
could accept so absurd a definition as that which I have italicized ? Even 
Pope s line, " He can t be wrong whose life is in the right," implies a belief 
in righteousness, and an acting up to that belief. Perhaps N. might fall 
back on the limitation to "revealed religion" implied on p. 16 : "The 
Latitudinarian doctrine is this ; that every man s view of revealed religion 
is acceptable to God, if he acts up to it" ; but again I ask what Lati 
tudinarian would say that the "view" of the extreme Antinomian, Ana 
baptist, or Free Lover, was " acceptable to God," however consistent the 
Antinomian, Anabaptist, or Free Lover, might be in " acting up to " his 
" view " ? 

The whole passage singularly illustrates Newman s contempt for Scrip 
ture, unless he can get " dogmas and " doctrines " and " creeds " out of 
it. The message of the love of God, unless it can be put into producible 
dogmatic shape telling us what precise rules we must observe in order to 
purchase it, or entitle ourselves to it, does not really seem to him divine 
at all, though he starts by calling it so (ib. 19) : "If there be no divine 
message, gospel, or creed, producible from Scripture, this would not lead 
me one iota towards deciding that there was none at all anywhere. No ; 
it would make me look out of Scripture for it, that is all. If there is a 
revelation, there must be a doctrine ; both our reason and our hearts tell 
us so. If it is not in Scripture, it is somewhere else, it is to be sought 
elsewhere. Should the fact turn out (which I deny,) that Scripture is so 
obscure that nothing can be made of it, even when the true interpretation 
is otherwise given, so obscure that every person will have his own inter 
pretation, and no two alike, this would drive me, not into Latitudinarian 
ism but into Romanism. Yes, and it will drive the multitude of men. It 
is far more certain that Revelation must contain a message than that that 
message must be in Scripture. It is a less violence to one s feelings to 
say that part of it is revealed elsewhere than to say that nothing is re 
vealed anywhere. There is an overpowering antecedent improbability 
in Almighty God s announcing that He has revealed something and 
revealed nothing ; there is no antecedent improbability in His revealing 
it elsewhere than in an inspired volume." 

89 (a) A. 29 ; 90 (a) A. 29. 


94 (a) L. ii. 252 ; 94 (b) L. i. 490 ; 95 (b)* see note in vol. ii. 78 (c), 
above ; 96 (b) " annoyed," L. ii. 265 ; 97 (a) L. ii. 268 ; 97 (b) L. ii. 267 ; 
99 (a) L. ii. 269; 99 (b) L. ii. 270; 100 (a) L. ii. 271-2 ; 101 (a) L. ii. 
272 ; 102 (c) L. ii. 274. 

103 (b)* " realise " often means " believe, or feel, in one s heart." See L. 


ii. 170: it seems opposed to mere "assent" in L. i. 183, "it is so difficult 
to realise what one believes, and to make these trials, as they are in 
tended, real blessings." See especially S. vi. 18. 263 ; " How loudly men 
talk of the shortness of this life, of its vanity and unprofitableness, and of 
the claims which the world to come has upon us ! This is what we hear 
said daily, yet few act upon the truths they utter ; and why ? because they 
do not realize what they are so ready to proclaim "; S>v. 22. 321, "when 
we realize a truth we have a feeling which they have not who take words 
for things." Hence, as regards the alleged miracle of St. Narcissus (the 
change of water into oil) N. says (E. on EccL Mir. 259), "the evidence 
is not so definite or minute as to enable us to realize the miracle " : and 
he goes on to say that, since " belief, in any true sense requires a certain 
familiarity or intimacy of the mind with the thing believed," I do not 
see that we can be said actually to believe in a miracle like that now in 
question." The result of all this, and a great deal more, tedious and 
lengthy meandering of words, is, that sometimes in the Newmanian 
vocabulary, " I do not realise what I say " means " I say it, but I do not 
actually believe it." 

103 (b)* "uncomfortable" : this word belongs to N. s epistolary, not 
to his pulpit vocabulary. It has a religious sense, like the words " com 
fort " and " Comforter " in the New Testament, so that to be " uncom 
fortable " often means to suffer spiritual depression and anguish. N. 
probably borrowed this antiquated use of the word from Keble. 

Keble (L. ii. 473) after "the thunderbolt " of N. s secession has fallen, 
writes, "You may guess what uncomfortable feelings haunt me, as if I, 
more than anyone else, was answerable for whatever of distress and 
scandal may occur." When the reader reflects that " scandal " (in K. s 
vocabulary once more, a little antiquated) means " stumbling-block" or 
that kind of " offence " on which our Saviour pronounced a " woe " he 
will understand why K. (K. 283) should mention it in connection with 
"the blind leading the blind " where he says, " I suppose I am not really 
uncomfortable. I eat, drink, and sleep, as if nothing was the matter." 

Hence, when the "ghost " of Rome pulverizes the Via Media, we shall 
presently find Newman seeing "an uncomfortable vista," i.e., the prospect 
of the collapse of his religious convictions (L. ii. 286). Similarly, in 1842, 
an ecclesiastical case which may have the effect of helping to "unchurch" 
Anglicans, is described (L. ii. 389) as " uncomfortable." 

103 (c) L. ii. 237 ; 103 (d) A. 112 ; 104 (b) Subj. 79 (18 Nov. 1838) ; 
104 (b) 105 (a) Subj. 64 (25 Nov.) ; 105 (c) S. V. 17. 253 ; 106 (a) 
S. V. 16 (16 Dec.) ; 106 (b) U. 350 ; 107 (a) L. ii. 275 (28 Dec.) ; 108 (a) 
L. ii. 278 (14 Jan., 1839). 

CHAPTER XXV (Jan. 1839) 

no (a) f Tract 85 pp. i, 2, 30, quoted by R. H. H. 89, whom I have 
followed, but on verifying it in the 3rd ed. 1 840, 1 find " those who seek Him 
as He commands" ; 115 (a) Lect. on the Present Position of Catholics in 


England, quoted, but without page, H. iii. 113; 115 (b) U. 187-90; 116 
(a) U. 193, 190,194; 116 (c) U. 189; 117 (b) U. 187. 

120 (a) * It should be added that in his next sermon he just touches on 
our "trust in our senses " ; and there, he goes so far as to grant that we 
may have "grounds for it." But he wholly ignores experience as having 
anything to do with it. And subsequently he declares that we trust in 
our senses " from a secret instinct," apparently intending to deny the 
claim of experience to be a " ground." The italics are mine in the follow 
ing (U. 213) : " We consider that there is so strong an antecedent prob 
ability that they are faithful, that we dispense with proof. We take the 
point for granted ; or, //we have grounds for it, these cither lie in our 
secret beiief in the stability of nature, or in the preserving presence and 
uniformity of Divine Providence which, again, are points assumed. As, 
then, the senses may and do deceive us, and yet we trust them from a 
secret instinct " 

1 20 (c and e) f U. 206. It is not easy to see why in the former version 
he describes Reason as " a faculty of proceeding," &c., and, in the latter, 
as "that faculty of the mind by which." But he seems to have started 
with the impression that there might be several such faculties, and that 
Reason might be only one of them, " a faculty." By the time he has 
written a few lines more, he recognizes that he has so defined Reason as 
to include all such faculties ; it was therefore " that faculty of the mind 
by which, &c." ; but he does not take the trouble to correct his previous 

121 (e) U. 207 ; 122 (b) U. 211,212; 123 (a) * I am not sure, after all, 
what Newman means by "when their minds are roused/ and whether 
he does not mean " passions " ; for he says (U. 21 1) " In practical matters, 
when their minds are really roused, men commonly are not bad reasoners. 
Men do not mistake when their interest is concerned" I have italicized 
the words which appear to indicate (though Newman can hardly have 
meant this) that when anyone claims, for example, a portion of an estate, 
he is (so far) less likely to " mistake " as to the facts (because his 
" interest" is " concerned ") than the judge whose " interest" is not "con 
cerned"! I should have thought that "interest" is a proverbial cause 
of all sorts of " mistakes " in reasoning. 

123 (b) U. 213; 124 (a)* "reason." Of course, however, we often 
trust, " upon experience and reason," without any conscious reference to 

124 (c) U. 215 ; 125 (b) U. 215 ; 125 (c) U. 219 ; 126 (c) U. 220 ; 127 
(a) U. 220 ; 128 (c) U. 220, ist ed. has "bends" for "bows." 


129 (a) L. ii. 272; 130 (a) A. 163; 130 (b) *" not expressly named, 
A. 163 : " The most prominent person in it, was a man of elegant genius 
of classical mind, of rare talent in literary composition [ Mr. Oakeley, 
om. in ist ed.]. 


131 (a) A. 163 ; 132 (a) A. 163 ; 132 (b) C. 321, W. 120, " sources".* 
I. W. 86, says of Oakeley, " His abilities were rather showy from an 
elegant pleasing style, than either acute or deep." 

Comp. E. T. M. ii. 228, who describes the Oakeley of his "earliest 
Oxford recollections " as " an elegant and rather dilettante scholar, trans 
lating Lucretius into English verse, much at his piano, and avowedly 
sentimental rather than decisive in his religious views." 

133 (a) A. 171, C. 316, J. M. 1 66 ; 134 (b) W. 127 ; 135 (a) W. 216 ; 
135 (c) W. 31 ; 139 (a) W. 6 ; 140 (a) W. 7 ; 141 (a) W. 11 ; 142 (a) W. 
80 ; 144 (b) C. 316 ; 145 (a) C. 315 ; 146 (b) "had to," A. 165, "upset 
me," A. 170, 1 68, 165-70; 147 (a) A. 169; 148 (a)* "at random." I 
mean with reckless exaggeration ; in accordance with his belief that 
(L. i. 488) "energy is ever exaggerated/ and (L. ii. 324) that almost 
every "controversialist" must be "unscrupulous." Hence, without con 
sciously exaggerating, N. did not take the trouble to try to say the exact 
truth. He thought it hopeless. He was content to throw out words on 
the chance of producing an impression that would conduce to the 
interests of the Church, the glory of God, c., &c. All this is quite com 
patible with an instinctive skill in using just the right words to produce 
the desired impression. 

148 (a) A. 170 ; 149 (a) W. 207 ; 150 (a) " unfairly,"* as he had treated 
Whately (see above vol. i. 304-9) and as he treats the Anglican divines 
(ib. 330), and the Bishops (ib. ii. 257-92). As an extraordinary instance 
of N. s tendency to use language that implies blame, and to complain of 
what he has brought upon himself, take the following description of his 
solitary illness in Malta, when he was with the Froudes. It is from 
a letter to his mother (L. i. 340-1) : 

" This is the sixth day since I left the Lazaret ; and I have hardly seen 
or spoken to anyone. The Froudes dine out every day, and are out all 
the morning of course. The last two days they have been on a visit to a 
friend. Last night I put a blister on my chest, and never having had 
one on before, you may fancy my awkwardness in taking it off and dress 
ing the place of it this morning. I ought to have had four hands. Our 
servant was with the Froudes .... I wonder how long I shall last 

without any friend about me I am glad Frank has the comfort of 

friends about him." 

And this, to an anxious mother and anxious sisters ! Naturally great 
blame was ca-t upon Froude for thus abandoning his sick friend ; and 
then N. has to explain (L. i. 378) " In answer to Fronde s solicitations, 
and his offer to sit with me or read to me, I had assured him all I 
wanted in order to recruit myself was perfect solitude " ! 

In the same manner, after Tract 90, we shall find him saying (A. 137) 
" I have asserted a great principle, and I ought to suffer for it/ 3 but 
complaining very bitterly indeed when he does " suffer for it." As it was 
a part of his theory about the Church that it must be persecuted by the 
world, and that Truth can never be popular, what in other men would be 
natural, was, in him, inconsistent. "I used to be surprised," says Isaac 


Williams (no), " he had not more learned to look on persecution as a 
matter of course, what a good man must meet with, and which should be 
to him a satisfaction, as indicating him to be in the way of truth." 


151 (a) A. 94 ; 151 (b) L. ii. 279 ; 153 (a) A. 95-100 ; 154 (a) A. 101 ; 
154 (c) A. 103 ; 156 (a) U. 215-20 ; 156 (b) A. 99 ; 157 (b) S. v. 23. 327 
(10 February, 1839), L. ii. 279, S. v. 23. 331 ; 159 (a) S. v. 23.337 ; 159 
(b) S. v. 9. 127 (17 February), S. vii. 8. 109 (24. February), S. v. 20. 290, 
296 (3 March) ; 160 (a)f in ed. 1840 the title is Present Blessings of this 
Life ; 160 (a)* S. v. 19. 271 (10 March), " of Lent." This is TO March. 
Yet 31 March (S. vi. 8. 94) is assigned to Easter Day- Is there not some 
mistake in the date? 160 (a) " brotherhood "* It should be added that 
under this head he definitely mentions " the holy marriage bond." Yet 
elsewhere (Subj. 47) he bids his hearers, " if they desire to be humble" 
pray not only " that they may never be rich," but also that " their home r 
may be " solitary." That, however, seems intended as a substitute for a 
vow of celibacy, recommended to those who purpose celibacy. 

161 (a) S. v. 19.276; 162 (b) S. vi 8. 94 (31 March) ; 163 (a) ib. 96 ; 
163 (c) ib. 101 ; 163 (d)f " keenly," ed. 1840. "full keenly. 164 (a) ib. 


165 (a)* "facts in question themselves." In the next paragraph he says. 
Reason makes the particular fact which is to be ascertained the point of 
primary importance, inquires into its evidence, not of course excluding 
antecedent considerations, but not beginning with them." But if the 
"antecedent considerations" e.g., the fact that the only evidence in a 
charge of murder is that of a man once convicted of felony, who now 
accuses the person on whose evidence he himself was convicted are 
sufficiently important, Reason may very well " begin with " them. Does 
" inferences," in the sentence quoted, mean " acts of inferring "? 165 (a) 
U. 223 (May, 1839) ; 166 (a)* U. 223 "in its more popular sense (in 
which, as in former Discourses, I shall here for the most part use it) . . ." 

167 (b) U. 227 ; 168 (a) U. 22930 ; 168 (a)* " hardly ever." U. 215, 
"He bids us examine it indeed with our best judgment " is a passage 
that might seem to imply the duty of going by evidence, if the preceding 
sentence did not indicate that it is a merit to go by little evidence. 

169 (a) U. 228; 169 (c) U. 234; 170 (a)f U. 234. To this, in the 
edition of 1872, is added a footnote in brackets which is the sign of a 
later addition not to be found in the original : [" It is a presumption, not as 
being a mere conjecture, but because the mind cannot master its own 
reasons and anticipates in its conclusions a logical exposition of them."] 

This seems to give up the author s original position, and to make him 
incline toward those (whose position he attacked in the preceding page) 
who asserted that " Faith is built upon Reason." 


But there, too, he had been forced to explain himself by a foot-note 
added in later editions, defining Reason as " processes of a logical or 
explicit character." Much of this confusion arises from his two definitions 
of the word Reason, and from his neglect to observe the simple rule of 
using the same word always in the same sense. 

171 (a)* " exercises of reason are needed to retain belief." It is not to 
be supposed that I here deny, or assert, this proposition ; I merely point 
out that it is quite distinct from the one with which N., seemingly, 
identifies it. 

171 (b) U. 235-6 ; 172 (a)* "delusion." N. generally uses the word 
" illusion " ; but as he does not (so far as I know) recognize that " illusion " 
may lead to higher truth through lower truth, and is to be distinguished 
from "delusion," I use the word " delusion" as being more likely to 
make his meaning generally intelligible. 

174 (b) U. 239 ; 175 (b) U. 239 ; 176 (b) U. 240, 241 ; 176 (c) U. 246. 


179 (b) S. vi. 8. 102 (31 March, 1839) ; 180 (b) S. v. 3. 45 ; 181 (b) " a 
good year," L. ii. 280. He adds "this was never done" ; 182 (a) S. v. 
45-43; 182 (b) S. v. 22. 319, 326 ; 183 (b) A. 115; 184 (b) A. 114, L. 
ii. 285 (15 September) ; 185 (b) L. ii. 286 (22 September). 

185 (d)* " uncomfortable," see note on 103 (b) ; 185 (e)* "vista." The 
Editor of the Letters quotes an article in the Dublin Review, 1869, thus : 
" He (i.e., N.) said I cannot conceal from myself that, for the first time 
since I began the study of theology, a vista has been opened before me, to 
the end of which I do not see. ; He was walking in the New Forest 
and he borrowed the form of his expression from the surrounding 

I quote this at full length because it is a useful as well as amusing 
instance of an error arising from inadequate knowledge of facts. N. was 
simply using in the New Forest the language he had used a fortnight 
before in Oriel. 

186 (b) A. 116-7, " this was so "*. The facts appear to be these: 
"About the middle of September " (and apparently in the first half since 
he had " hardly brought to a close " (A. 1 1 6) the " course of reading " which 
terminated (A. 114) on 30 August some " friends, who were more favour 
able to the cause of Rome " than N. was, " put " the Dublin Review "into 
his hands." Possibly R(obert) W(ilberforce) was one of these " friends " 
(as he is afterwards called not " a friend," but "my friend," as though he 
had been previously mentioned?) In any case, Newman read it, and " did 
not see much in it." Afterwards, R(obert) W(ilberforce), to use the words 
of the letter (which are rather misleading) " directed his attention to the 
Article" but, according to \htApologia, directed his attention, not to the 
Article, but to the extracts from St. Augustine in it, which had escaped his 

187 (b)* " receptiveness." Newman seems to be deliberately referring 


to, and approving, this sort of receptiveness, when, in the following year, 
in his sermon on Explicit and Implicit Reason, he says (U. 271) : "We 
take up a book at one time and see nothing in it ; at another, it is full of 
weighty remarks and precious thoughts." 

190 (b) A. 118 ; 190 (c) Hamlet, ii. 2. 635, A. 119 ; 191 (a) A. 119, 120, 
" it must be."* This, of course, is not a quotation from N., but is intended 
to show the spirit in which, even after the second appearance of the 
"ghost" N. still waited on in 1845, hoping for some third " sign," and 
(A. 231) "using the words of the Psalmist, Show some token upon me, " 
though he adds (ib.) " I suppose I have no right to wait for ever for this." 

192 (b)* * younger men": comp. I. W. 62, note: "What struck me 
was, how like Newman it all was. ... I mean Newman s living with 
persons younger than himself/ a party reflecting his own opinions, his 
constraint in public, his entirely throwing it off with friends in private." 
As regards Pusey, he says (ib. 70) : " They had been Fellows of Oriel 
together, and Newman was the senior. But Pusey s presence always 
checked his lighter and unrestrained mood." 

193 (b) L. ii. 288 ; 194 (c) A. 134 ; 195 (a) W. 212 ; 197 (b) S. viii. 2. 
17, 22, 24 ; 198 (b) ib. 25, 28, 29 ; 199 (a) ib. 29, 31, 32. 

CHAPTER XXX (1839-40) 

202 (a)* these terms are introduced by anticipation ; they are defined 
in the note on 221 (a). 

202 (b) W. 145 ; 203 (a)* L. ii. 347 (April, 1841) " Nor do I think it 
God s way, generally speaking, for individuals to leave one religion for 
another it is so much like an exercise of private judgment. Three 
thousand at once were converted on the day of Pentecost. Where miracles 
are brought before an individual the case is different." 

203 (a) A. 129 ; 203 (b) A. 121, 52, 6 (ist ed. 62) ; 204 (b) L. ii. 292-3 ; 
205 (b) C. 261 ; 206 (b) L. ii. 291 ; 208 (a)* "justify." I. W. (100) speaks 
of the Heads of Houses as " disturbed, of course, by a self-denying 
religious reformation, and jealous of the influence obtained by it" ; but 
he candidly admits that " there were also, in some cases, grounds for 
their distrust." 

208 (b) L. ii. 430 ; 208 (c) S. v. 5. 67 ; 209 (b) L. ii. 298 ; 210 (a) "he 
had none," A. 120; 210 (b) A. 126; 211 (a) A. 122 ; 212 (c) A. 129; 213 
(a) L. ii. 300, " miserable."* The whole passage is interesting : " Every 
thing is miserable. I expect a great attack upon the Bible indeed, I 
have long expected it. At the present moment, indications of what is 
coming gather. Those wretched Socialists, on the one hand, then 
Carlyle on the other a man of first-rate ability, I suppose, and quite 
fascinating as a writer. His book on the French Revolution is most 
taking (to me). I had hoped he might have come round right, for it was 
easy to see he was not a believer ; but they say he has settled the wrong 
way. His view is that Christianity has good in it, or is good as far as it 
goes, which, when applied to Scripture, is, of course, a picking and 


choosing of its contents. Then, again, you have Arnold s school, such as 
it is (I do hope he will be frightened back), giving up the inspiration of 
the Old Testament, or of all Scripture (I do not say Arnold himself does). 
Then you have Milman, clenching his History of the Jews by a 
* History of Christianity, which they say is worse, and just in the same 
line. Then you have all your political economists who cannot accept (it 
is impossible) the Scripture rules about almsgiving, renunciation of 
wealth, self-denial, &c., and then your geologists, giving up parts of the 
Old Testament. All these and many more spirits seem uniting and 
forming into something shocking." 214 (b) L. ii. 301, 303 ; 215 (b) L. 
ii. 204 ; 215 (e)* " domestic." See I. W. 61 : " The domestic and poetic 
and social element in our Newman s character appeared to me provi 
dentially intended to correct that constitutional restlessness of intellect, 
that want of balance and repose in the soul. . . . But our Newman, 
partly from circumstances, and partly under the false guise of mortifica 
tion, has stifled those his domestic affections, thereby greatly increasing 
this his intellectual malady ; whereas I never thought so highly of him, 
and he never seemed to me so saint-like and high in his character, as 
when he was with his mother and sisters." 

211 (a)* "very rude." His strong prejudice against Romanists appears 
in L. ii. 295 : " To-day he (Mr. Spencer) called with Palmer, and sat an 
hour. He is a gentlemanlike, mild, pleasing man, but sadly smooth. I 
wonder whether it is their habit of internal discipline, the necessity of 
confession, &c., which makes them so." 

Comp. Apologia (ist. ed.) 415: "Now first I will say, that, when I 
became a Catholic, nothing struck me more at once than the English out 
spoken manner of the Priests. . . . There was nothing of that smooth 
ness, or mannerism, which is commonly imputed to them. . ." 

216 (a) L. ii. 303(21 March, 1840) ; 217 (b) L. ii. 304 (20 May) ; 2r8 (a) 
L. ii. 311 ; 218 (d) S. v. 24, 343, 350-1 (i March) ; 219 (a) ib. 355, S. vi. 
2. 15 (15 March) ; 219 (b) "I take to cloaks," L. i. 429, S. viii. 141 (29 
March ; "next week" S. vii. 13. 181 (3 May) ; 220 (a) S. vii. 14. 199 (10 
May; 223 (b) Subj. 272, 271 ; 221 (a)* "Implicit" and "Explicit" 
Reason are distinguished as follows (17.258-9) They are "two pro 
cesses distinct from each other, (i) the original process of reasoning, 
and next, (2) the process of investigating our reasonings. All men (i) 
reason, .... but all men do not (2) reflect upon their own reason 
ings .... all men (i) have a reason, but not all men can (2) give a 
reason. We may denote, then, these two exercises of mind as (i) reason 
ing and (2) arguing, or as (i) conscious and (2) unconscious reasoning, or 
as (i) Implicit and (2) Explicit Reason." 

I have inserted the numbers in the preceding paragraph for clearness. 
The words would indicate that " reasoning" is " conscious," and "argu 
ing" is "unconscious" : but N. cannot have meant that. It is either a 
slip, or a transposition for the sake of variety. 

Of course there is some truth in this : but it ought to be balanced by a 
profound reverence for facts. And it is obvious how easily " Implicit 
Reason" if persons allow themselves to make a habit of saying that 



they " have a reason " but cannot " give a reason " may degenerate into 
mere prejudice and first impression, and become a shelter for laziness,. 
and an encouragement to believe in facts that make them comfortable. 

221 (a) U. 275 ; 222 (a) * U. 272, " recondite reasons," it might be urged 
that the term " recondite " applies not to the proposition that God is good r 
but to the argument that " if God is All-powerful He must be also All- 
good," which I should certainly admit to be "recondite." But on the 
next page mention is made of these propositions, " that there is a God, 
that He governs the world, that He wishes the salvation of man .... 
that there is no other way of introducing a Revelation but by miracles/ 
and it is implied that all these are " recondite." 

222 (b) A. 134 ; 223 (a) * "The two letters about the resignation of St. 
Mary s are omitted in the Letters, which generally (but not invariably) 
omit letters contained in the Apologia. Possibly other letters have been 
omitted or lost. 

223 (a) leave," L. ii. 318: 224 (b)-22 9 (a) A. 132-5; 228 (d) f "till 
you see," i.e. " your way." This meaning seems dictated both by grammar 
and by morality. The Apologia supplies, in brackets (which Newman 
habitually employs to denote later explanations), " Till you see [your way 
to mitigate if not remove this evil]," i.e. the "evil" which Newman s 
resignation would do to the Tractarian cause. But such an interpretation 
seems less worthy of Keble, and less probable. 

229 (a) A. 120 ; 231 (a) A. 156 ; 229 (b) * " Keble in the dark," comp. 
I. W. who says (108) of Keble, " He had not the reasons for appre 
hension [i.e. about N. s Romanizing tendencies] that I had"; and he 
tells us that before writing Tract 90, i.e., in the autumn and winter of 
1840, Newman " said things in favour of the Church of Rome which quite 
startled and alarmed me." 

232 (a) "union," A. 122, "sore," ib. ; 232 (c) A. 136, what follows is 
mostly from Phil. 217-9 ; 234 (e) A. 135-6. 

CHAPTER XXXI (MARCH, 1840-1841) 

235 (a) A. 135, "continued" :* comp. I. W. (101), " Of the putting out 
of Church principles he often spoke as an experiment which he did not 
know whether the Church of England could bear, or what would be the 


235 (b) L. ii. 357 5 237 (a) A. 135, L. ii. 185 ; 238 (a) L. ii. 318-9 ; 
238 (c) L. ii. 324 ; 239 (a) L. 325 ; 239 (b) S. vi. 18. 257 (13 Dec. 1840) ; 
240 (a) S. vi. 12. 153 (24 Jan. 1841), 172, L. ii. 378, S. vi. 12. 173 : 241 (a) * 
" us? ib., the italics are N. s ; 241 (b) S. vi. 13. 174-7, 185 ; 242 (a) vi. 3. 
29 (21 March, 1841) ; 242 (b) L. ii. 319 (25 Nov., 1840), A. 78. 

243 (a)* " Ward also rejected the distinction." So did Newman in the 
notes appended, during his Roman period, to the republished Tract in V. 
ii. 316, where he says, " I do not see then how it can be denied that this 
Article calls the sacrifice of the Mass itself, in all its private and solitary 
celebrations (to speak of no other) that is, in all its daily celebrations 


from year s end to year s end" [I suppose the rhetoric that follows " that 
is," has some meaning; but I fail to see it] " toto orbe terrarum, a 
blasphemous fable. " He also says, "Nor can we successfully dis 
tinguish between Mass and Masses/ as is attempted in the text." 

On the other hand Dean Church (249) says that, " when Mr. Newman 
confined the phrase to the gross abuses connected with the Mass, this- 
was treated as an affront to common sense and honesty. Since then, we 
have become better acquainted with the language of the ancient liturgies ; 
and no instructed theologian could now venture to treat Mr. Newman s 
distinction as idle." 

2 43 (b) "James Mozley," L. ii. 325, note, W. 441 ; 244 (a) Tract 90, p. 
24 ; T. i. 44 ; 244 (b) T. i. 25-49. Bishop Thirlwall s attitude towards 
Tract 90, by its perfect and careful fairness, deserved from the extreme 
Tractarian Party something of that appreciation which Isaac Williams 
warmly expressed for the Bishop s impartial judgment on the unpopular 
and much-abused Tract 89. 

However, the Rev. Malcolm MacColl attacked Thirlwall as being " a 
party to the hounding of Dr. Newman out of the Church of England a 
quarter of a century ago." "A correspondence," says the Editor of Thirlwall s 
Works (iv. 345) " ensued upon this in the Guardian, in which the Bishop 
showed in the clearest and most convincing manner how absolutely without 
foundation Mr. MacColl s charge was. A letter also appeared in the 
same paper from Dr. Newman himself, procured through the intervention 
of Professor Plumptre, in which he exonerated the Bishop in a perfectly 
satisfactory manner from the accusation. Dr. Newman had, indeed, in 
one of his works, referred to the courtesy of Bishop Thirlwall as a 
marked exception to his general treatment at the hands of the English 

245 (b) C. 248, L. ii. 333; 246 (a) Letter to Dr. Jelf, V. ii. 371 ; 
248 (b) f A. 94, the ist ed. differs a good deal, but not in essentials ; 
248 (c) Letter to Bishop of Oxford, quoted by C. 242 : 249 (a) A . 
82; 249 (e) Tract 90, pp. 73-4, "irritating."* I select this epithet 
because it is one of those which Newman s friend, Rickards, applied to 
some of N. s Tracts. 

250 (a) Tract 90, p. 21 ; 250 (b) * " Hare." See the whole discussion, H. 
iii. 203-5. After declaring that "the inerrableness of General Councils" 
is "no matter of faith," " because not founded on any part of Scripture or 
Tradition," Hammond indicates in what form this belief may be held as 
" a theological verity which may piously be believed." And it amounts 
to this: "that God will never suffer all Christians to fall into such a 
temptation, as it must be in case the whole Church representative should 
err in matters of faith," i.e. impugn or omit anything in "the body of 
Credenda which the Apostles delivered to the Church, and should 
succeed in diffusing this error in the Church at large. 

251 (b) A. 137, Tract 90, p. 2. He goes on to say, not that he will try 
to prove this, but : " it may be right, at the present moment, to insist upon 

252 (b) * "surprise" : comp. I. W. (no) " I used to be surprised he had 

G G 2 


not more learned to look on persecution as a matter of course, what a 
good man must expect to meet with, and which should be to him a 
satisfaction, as indicating him to be in the way of truth." Certainly, this 
was N. s theory, and he repeatedly inculcated it. 

252 (c)* L. ii. 327, M. P. s Essays, ii. 303, "Popish." The attack on 
this Tract, if we may take the judgment of so calm and wise a judge as 
Bishop Thirlwall, was not justified. While severely censuring important 
points in Tract 90, Thirlwall says (i. 41) about the Tract on Reserve, " we 
must be inclined to consider it rather as a protest against reserve than a 
recommendation of it," and he speaks of the feeling against it as (i. 40) 
" misplaced: 1 

253 (a) L. ii. 128 ; 253 (b) * C. 267. " Newman and Keble dreaded the 
appeal to Convocation," see L. ii. 330 (a letter written by Church to 
Rogers) : " The thought of Convocation harassed him (Newman) and 
Keble very much." Church adds, about the Heads, " it seems, however* 
certain that they are afraid to try Convocation" ("seems certain " is a 
favourite expression with N., who perhaps imparted it to Church). 

The former is a statement oifact; the latter is a conjecture, which will 
hereafter (see vol. ii. 357) be disproved by facts. But indeed Church dis 
proved his own belief in his own conjecture. A week afterwards, when 
he had time to think coolly about it, he wrote to Rogers (L. ii. 332), " We 
have escaped the bore and defeat of Convocation " / 

254 (a) "humbugged," L. ii. 332, "evaded," ib. 331, "pamphlet,"* 
comp. I. W. (109) " Newman walked with me at the time of the con 
demnation of it (i.e. Tract 90), much depressed. And he wrote t< 
apologize for it to Dr. Jelf, partly unsaying it. This also was his manner : 
he was carried away first of all by his own mind, but afterwards, from a 
very amiable and good feeling, wished to do away with the uneasiness 

I. W. adds (ib. 108) that before writing the Tract, he "said things 
n favour of the Church of Rome, which quite startled and alarmed me, 
and I was afraid he would express the same in this Tract, with no idea 
(as his manner was) of the sensation it would occasion " ; and in this way 
I. W. explains Keble s neglect to censure the Tract, although he saw it 
before publication : " He (Keble) had not the reasons for apprehension 
that I had," i.e. N. had not imparted to Keble his full sentiments about 
the Church of Rome. 

255 (a) L. ii. 333, A. 170, L. ii. 335 ; 255 (b) "following days," so in 
present editions of A. ; but in ist ed. all the notes are said to have been 
written on 24 March, see the end of the note on 272 (b). 

256 (a) L. ii. 338. 

257 (a)* In the Apologia (51) he pays a tribute of profound respect to 
him : " I was rewarded by having all my time for ecclesiastical superior a 
man, whom, had I had a choice, I should have preferred out and out to 
any other Bishop on the Bench, and for whose memory I have a special 
affection, Dr. Bagot a man of noble mind, and as kind-hearted and as 
considerate as he was noble. He ever sympathized with me in my trials 
which followed. . . . May his name be ever blessed ! " 


He seems, however, to have been a weak man, timorously shrinking from 
just responsibility, see note on 272 (a). Moreover, by N. s own account 
he publicly and repeatedly condemned Tract 90 with great severity, after 
having entered into an " understanding " not to do so ; we have to choose, 
therefore, between concluding that this " kind-hearted," " considerate," 
and "noble" man or else N. s memory was very treacherous. 


258 (b) " publish his own condemnation," see A. 90, " they said that 
this was on condition that I did not defend it, that I stopped the series, 
and that I myself published my own condemnation in a letter to the Bishop 
of Oxford." I have given reasons elsewhere (vol. ii. 263-73) for thinking 
that the agreement was to " stop the Tracts] not to " stop the series" 

258 (c) A. 137, L. ii. 341 ; 259 (a) A. 138, L. ii. 341 ; 260 (a)f- Two 
letters were written by N. to Keble on I April, and both are printed in 
the Letters (L. ii. 341, 342). The former has signs of omission ; the 
latter has none. A letter from N. to Keble (that it is to Keble is certain 
from ist ed. of A.) of I April is printed in A. 137 ; but there is nothing 
in it that is found in either of the letters published in the Correspondence. 
Apparently, therefore, it must be an extract from the former of the two 
letters, which contains signs of omission. Yet, if this be so, it is odd 
that N. should on the same day, in the same letter, to the same friend, 
write the same things, after this fashion : 

j (i) Letters, " I have spoken quite what I feel." 

(2) Apologia, " You will see in the Letter, though I speak quite what 

( I feel. . . ." 

(i) Letters, "I am sanguine about my Letter which came out 

I yesterday." 
< (2) Apologia, " I wrote it (the letter to the Bishop) on Monday ; 

/ on Tuesday it passed through the press ; on Wednesday it was 

V out ; and to-day [Thursday] it is in London." 

There are several instances where Newman, in what Keble calls his 
" fidgety " moods, writes two letters on the same day to the same person ; 
but I do not know of another where he so needlessly repeats himself. 

260 (b) " could not believe his ears," A. 220, L. ii. 343 ; 260 (c)* " a 
sanction of them from your Lordship." The full sentence is (V. ii. 387) : 
"May I then, without (as I have said) at all assuming the soundness of 
the doctrines to be mentioned, or by mentioning them seeking indirectly 
a sanction for them from your Lordship, be allowed to allude to one or 
two Tracts, merely in illustration of what I have said." 

Then_at some interval, he refers to the doctrine of the Invocation of 
Saints ;" states (ib. 396) that he has been obliged to declare its "law 
fulness" "an open question," and expresses his "great apprehension" of 
the use of the orapro nobison this ground : " The holier the man, the less 
likely are they (i.e. such invocations) to be injurious to him ; but it is 
another matter entirely when ordinary persons do the same." Again, he 


says (ib. 38) : " If I allude to what has been maintained in the Tracts, 
it will not be at all by way of maintaining it in these pages, but in illustra 
tion of the impressions and the drift with which they have been written." 
Is this really consistent with " wedging in a good many bits of Catholicism, 
which now come out with the Bishop s sanction " ? 

261 (a) L. ii. 342-3 ; 261 (b) "game." The words are " I am not at all 
sure that our game, if I may use the word, is not to let the matter drop 
at present." 

261 (d) A. 138, L. ii. 344, "Jesuitism."* I. W. says (53-4) " I have lately 
heard it stated from one of Newman s oldest friends, Dr. Jelf " it was to 
Dr. Jelf that N. wrote the letter explaining Tract 90 "that his mind was 
always essentially Jesuitical." I. W. accounts for this, in part, by N. s 
tf habit of looking for effect, for what was sensibly effective." But I. W. 
did not " look for effect," perhaps, quite enough. 

262 (a) A. 138, 89-90, 139-40, 207 ; 262 (b)* " as a body." So he writes 
to Keble (L. ii. 338), " Pusey says there has been a talk of the Bishops, 
as a body, condemning the Tract. Is this [legally] possible?" The 
italics are N. s ; and so is his later explanation, " legally." 

262 (b) " the Bishops charges," L. ii. 356, " only in Synod do they 
prescribe doctrine?* The view I have taken in the text is confirmed by a 
great deal of direct and indirect evidence (see pp. 263-73 and the notes 
upon them) all of which proves that the individual action of the Bishops 
was expressly reserved in any " understanding" or " bargain " that may 
have been made between N. and his own Bishop. Newman appears to 
have forgotten this afterwards, and to have imagined that all but a few 
of the Bishops had pledged themselves individually not to condemn 
Tract 90. Not that he ventures to say this in the Letters ; it is only in 
the Apologia. In the Letters, the very complaints he makes, prove that 
he had nothing to complain of; e.g. L. ii. 385 (19 January, 1842), "It 
is remarkable, indeed, that the Archbishop should go on. What have I 
done! Last March I submitted, and was told that therefore nothing 
would be done from authority." 

Supposing this to be true, the answer is, in Newman s own words : 
nothing was done "from authority? " The Bishops charges . . . have 
no direct authority except in their own dioceses." To this we may add that 
(i) the " condemnation which he published was soon perceived to be no 
" condemnation," and the "submission" no "submission." 

263 (a)* "no trace of it." I mean, of course, by "it," the " under 
standing " as conceived by N., pledging the Bishops to refrain from 
charging against him in their several dioceses. 

263 (a) " I think," A. 139 ; " if I remember," A. 89, 90 ; 264 (a) "all his 
Tracts," i.e., to stop, or discontinue the printing of, all those which were 
under his control, all those which he had offered to suppress on a previous 
occasion in 1838. In these, Tract 90 would be included. Copies printed 
would not be called in ; but when they were sold, no more would be 
issued. The Tract would quietly drop, by the author s action (or, we may 
call it, zV/action). 

266 (b) L. ii. 343, 346 ; 267 (b) L. ii. 356, 359, " understanding."* The 


only passage that might be so construed (so far as I have seen) I have 
dealt with in the note on p. 262 (b). 

268 (a) L. ii. 346 ; 268 (b) V. ii. 383-5 ; 269 (b) A. 220, 221 ; 270 (b) A. 

The following section of notes refers to the "understanding between 
Newman and the Bishop of Oxford, and, in particular, to the meaning 
probably attached by the Bishop to -the expression : 


It should be distinctly understood, from the first, that I regard the 
discussion of this question as interesting rather in its bearing upon the 
Bishop s conduct and upon the way in which misunderstandings arise out 
of " understandings/ than as affecting our estimate of Newman s moral 
conduct. Verbally the words quite justify Newman s interpretation of 
them; and the charge of " out-manceuvering" his Bishop lies outside 
this verbal discussion. But, for the reputation of the Bishop himself, 
such a discussion is of vital importance. For if it cannot be shown that 
he might rationally have supposed that Newman broke the " understand - 
ing," then the Bishop himself sincere himself certainly broke it after 
wards stands convicted of being an irrational or a treacherous creature- 

271 (b) A. 138, W. 160, "the most obvious interpretation." It is, 
indeed, the only interpretation consistent with strict grammatical con 
struction for " t/iey" in "they have inculcated," means " the Tracts " pre 
viously mentioned, in the " stopping of the Tracts." Hence, the reference 
ought to be to the old Tracts, which alone could be said to "have in 
culcated opinions," and it must therefore be the old Tracts that are 
to be "stopped." 

But it is possible (for N. often uses his pronouns very loosely, particu. 
larly in complicated arguments) that the word " they " does not mean 
(though it ought to mean) " the Tracts " previously mentioned. " The 
Tracts" may mean " the series of Tracts considered in the future , as well 
as in the past" ; and "they" may mean "the old Tracts." 

It will be noticed that in the letters written at the time (e.g. i April , 
1841) he speaks of "stopping the Tracts" (and so, 8 April) ; but a year 
afterwards, when he made up his mind not to "stop" them (i.e. their 
circulation), he uses his words more carefully (L. ii. 392, 14 April, 1842) 
" I not only stopped the series of Tracts on which I was engaged," and so 
in the Apologia (90) " they said that this was on condition that I did not 
defend it, that I stopped the series, and that I myself published my own 
condemnation in a letter to the Bishop of Oxford." 

I am confirmed in the view that " stopping the Tracts "meant originally 
" dropping the Tracts," by the letter of Church in which the expression to 
"stop the Tracts" evidently implies a great deal and (it would seem) 
more than the mere offer to publish no new Tracts (L. ii. 332, 21 
March) : 

" Last week the Bishop of Oxford wrote to Pusey, expressing the pain 
he felt at the Tract, and enclosing a letter to Newman which contained a 


proposal to N. to do something, which he hoped N. would not refuse- 
Newman s anxiety was not a little relieved when he found, on opening 
the letter, that what the Bishop wished was that N. would undertake not 
to discuss the Articles any more in the Tracts. [The italics are Church s, 
and clearly call attention to the extreme mildness of the request.] 
Newman wrote back offering to do anything the Bishop wished, suppress 
No, 90, or stop the Tracts, or give up St. Mary s." 

It has been suggested that the Bishop could not have intended Newman 
to have suppressed the Tracts ; for some of them, e.g. Pusey s Tract on 
Baptism, was signed by the latter and not under Newman s control. 

The reply is that the Bishop intended Newman to do in 1841 what 
Newman had offered to do in 1838 : " I offered," he says in the letter to 
his Bishop (V. ii. 384) " to withdraw any of the Tracts over which I had 
control." That was all the Bishop wanted. Tract 90 was " under his 
control" and would, with the rest, cease to be circulated. It would not 
be " suppressed" ; it would not be " withdrawn " ; it would drop. 

272 (a)* "printed." Here the following objections have been raised by 
the friendly censor whom I have quoted before and will now quote again : 
"(i) Why, if the Bishop knew the Tracts were on sale still, and he 
wished them stopped, did he not write and say so ? And surely (2) . 
discontinue is an odd word to use, if you mean suppress. Both words 
are technical almost ; at any rate, each has a well-recognized sense in 
reference to periodicals. And (3) I don t believe N. would have printed 
a 2nd edition, if he had understood he had to suppress the Trace." 

(i) First, as to what the Bishop might be expected to have done, I 
reply as follows. See I. W. (105) : 

There was a pastrycook in St. Mary s parish, of the name of Jubber. 
Newman, on going abroad with Froude, had told me that he had in vain 
endeavoured to get that family baptized. . . . One of the daughters 
wished to be married. This, as she persisted in continuing unbaptized, 
Newman refused to do. On this, the newspapers made a violent outcry 
against him, and the old-fashioned orthodox shook their heads. New 
man wrote to the Bishop, saying, if he desired him, he would marry them ^ 
and " I italicize " he was a little annoyed at receiving no answer" 

Now here I may surely retort upon my censor, " Why, if the Bishop 
wished the marriage to take place, did he not say, Yes ? or, if he wished 
it not to take place, why did he not say, No?" The answer may be, 
because he could not make up his mind ; or, because he was afraid of 
unpopularity ; or because he was anything else that characterizes a 
weak man who shrinks from responsibility. But whatever we answer in 
the Jubber case, we may also answer in the Tract case. The Bishop 
perhaps found it " a nuisance to take steps." He said nothing. What he 
did was (so we learn from I. W.) " thougJi he never alluded to the sttbject? 
to appoint Newman to preach the visitation sermon at St. Mary s, and to 
show him " the most marked attention and respect." 

This was in 1834 (see L. ii. 55-62) ; and the Bishop may have changed 
his mind afterwards, in some respects, about Newman. But it was a 
redeeming feature in so much weakness that, at least, he always respected 


in Newman, one stronger than himself who had the courage of his con 
victions (when he could feel certain that he had any). 

(2) " Discontinue is an odd word, if you mean l suppress. " Exactly, 
but if the Bishop had publicly said " suppress/ N. would have resigned 
at least (A. 209) he says he had " almost made up his mind," in that 
contingency, to resign his living ; and there would have been a little 
disturbance ; and from this the old man would naturally shrink. Indeed 
the use of "publicly" (which I italicize) in the following (A. 209, L. ii. 
341): "I have almost come to the conclusion, if the Bishop publicly 
intimates that I must suppress the Tract, or speaks strongly in his Charge 
against it, to suppress it indeed, but to resign my living also " deserves 
close attention, for what does it mean from the pen of one who weighs 
his words as N. did except this, " If he privately arranges with me to 
suppress it, I am willing to do it, provided that he refrains from saying so 
publicly " ? 

(3) In the case of a " bargain," it seems to me quite like N. to take the 
full advantage that the " bargain " allowed him. Assuming that on 29 
March (when he published his letter to his Bishop) he supposed himself 
bound privately to " stop," or " suppress," or " quietly withdraw," or 
" discontinue," or "drop," or "not to continue reprinting" Tract 90, he 
may very well have conceived that his fulfilment of the " bargain " was 
not to begin till he had published the episcopal statement that the Tract 
was " objectionable." Sharp practice though this may have been, it was 
not so gross a violation of the respect due (upon his principles) to episcopal 
authority, as it would have been, first , to publish to the world that the 
Bishop called his Tract "objectionable," and then to issue a second 

I do not know who was responsible for the ultimate wording of the 
Bishop s message which was so much debated and altered. In any case 
there can be no doubt that verbally it left Newman free to adopt the 
interpretation which he gave the message in 1842 and after that date, viz. r 
"discontinue the series." The reader may perhaps be interested in 
another instance in which the Bishop sends a message to Newman, which 
Newman verbally repeats in his reply, thereby rendering himself liable, in 
the eyes of ordinary human beings, to the charge of " evasion " : see 
vol. ii. p. 322, where, in answer to the charge that he was instituting "a 
so-called Anglo-Catholic Monastery? he replies, " Of course, I can repeat 
your Lordship s words, that I am not attempting a revival of the 
Monastic Orders in anything approaching to the Romanist sense of 
the term. " 

The inference from all these rather circuitous proceedings on both sides 
seems to be that the Bishop said publicly " discontinue," with an under 
standing (tacit or otherwise) that it should be privately interpreted by N. 
to mean " suppress ; " that Newman (sooner or later) did not so interpret 
it ; that the Bishop considered the " understanding " to be broken by 
Newman ; that then, after his fashion, instead of remonstrating, he broke 
the understanding too, and publicly, and repeatedly, and severely, con 
demned the Tract which (i) had given him so much " pain," (2) had been 


pronounced by him "objectionable," (3) was still being reprinted in his 
diocese. (N.B. Four editions were published in 1841; three of them, 
after the Bishop had pronounced the Tract " objectionable.") 

I may be wrong in my theory. But, if I am, Dr. Bagot, the Bishop of 
Oxford, instead of being "noble," was despicable. 

In answer to these arguments my friend still has something to say : 

(1) "Your theory attaches no weight to N. s withdraw ng his offer of 
suppressing Tract 90. Indeed you say more than once, How could he 
think it impossible to suppress his Tract when he himself offered to do 
so ? but this he apparently ignores. Which seems proof positive that he 
made the offer in haste and repented of it. And as the offer did not 
represent his settled mind, there seems no reason why he should represent 
it as such." 

I have never denied that N. "made this offer in haste and repented of 
it." He not only " repented of it," but was so ashamed of it that he does 
not mention it even in his Letters ; and in the Apologia he poses as one 
who never could have possibly listened to such a proposal, much less 
made it himself (A. 89) : " For how could I acquiesce in a mere Protestant 
interpretation of the Articles ? How could I, &c., &c., &c. " (see the next 
note for the whole passage.) 

But I think my friend means to argue thus, " Since N. so speedily 
repented of his offer to suppress the Tract, he ought not to be supposed 
to have afterwards made an understanding to suppress it." 

But to argue thus is to ignore the fundamental distinction which N. 
made between publicly and technically " suppressing ; at the Bishop s 
bidding (which might have implied episcopal condemnation of doctrine) 
and private suppression or " stopping," as the result of a private under 
standing with the Bishop (which would have involved no condemnation 
of doctrine at all). 

(2) "Why may not Church have been wrong as to the fact?" [He 
means, as to N. s offer to suppress Tract 90.] Is this a fair or reasonable 
argument ? Is it fair to argue that such a man as Church would make a 
statement of fact about one with whom he was in such close relations and 
daily intercourse, and almost simultaneously with the alleged fact, without 
having solid foundation for it ? And what ground have we for charging 
Church with definite mis-statement ? Simply that we may save N. s 
memory from the charge of being treacherous. But we know, from other 
sources, that N. s memory was treacherous ; we know, from other sources, 
that Church was generally accurate. 

However, there are special reasons for thinking on this occasion that 
N. not only told Church the facts but also saw Church s letter. It was 
written to Rogers, and Newman himself added a few lines to Rogers on the 
flaps of the same letter, beginning with the words, " Church has told you 
the scrape I have got into " which certainly imply that, in Newman s 
own judgment, Church knew all the facts. 


(3) The next objection, though expressed in epistolary vernacular, I 
prefer to give in my friend s own words that I may not weaken its force. 
" N. having definitely withdrawn from his offer, it seems out of the 
question that the Bishop should say, as you make him say, Well, if it 
hurts you so much to kill your baby, kill the other 89, and then you won t 
hear it squeal. This seems to me to be the meaning of your paragraph 
on p. 270, To save your conscience, I won t ask you to kill one but all. 

" Surely this is out of the question, especially from a Bishop who seems 
to have been somewhat weak, and also very much disposed to honour N. 
.and to make things easy for him." 

This argument will, I think, seem very forcible to those who do not 
keep all the facts steadily before them. But it will have no weight at all 
with those who realise N. s readiness to do anything whatever by private 
arrangement, if only he could escape that public condemnation of the 
Tract which would imply condemnation of doctrine, and would con 
sequently drive him out of the Church of England. 

No pride of authorship, and most assuredly no thought of author s 
profits, would make him look on Tract 90 or any of the other Tracts 
under his control, as a u baby" : and he would have massacred not 90, but 
900 such " babies " with ecstatic delight, if thereby he could have gained 
over his own Diocesan to be an active champion of the Tractarian 

We may repeat here what N. said to his Bishop in 1838 when he 
offered to withdraw any of the Tracts over which he had control, if the 
Bishop would tell him which were those to which he objected (V. ii. 384) : 
" I should feel a more lively pleasure in knowing that I was submitting 
myself to your Lordship s expressed judgment in a matter of that kind, 
than I could have even in the widest circulation of the volumes in 

As to " squealing "that is a metaphor, of which the substratum of fact 
is not clear. But another metaphor might suggest, as N. elsewhere 
suggests, that the Tracts, though dead, would still speak. Their opinions 
would be reproduced, and would spread. 

(4) "The whole of your p. 271 seems disposed of by the letter from 
Church given in the note, in which he says, N. wrote back offering 

to suppress No. 90. or stop the Tracts, or give up St. Mary s 

... . ; from which it is clear that stop and suppress are distinguished ; 
and there is no third course. I don t e.g. understand what you mean by 
< drop the tracts. " 

Certainly " suppress " and " stop " are distinguished. For " suppress " 
implies objectionableness and condemnation, whereas " stop " implies no 
motive at all. As I understand it, N. offered (i) to "suppress" No. 90 in 
deference to the Bishop s condemnation of it ; or else (2) to do still more 
and to stop all the Tracts at his disposal including not only that which 
had been pronounced objectionable but others too which had been in no 
way condemned, and which therefore would be "stopped" rather than 
" suppressed" ; or (3) to take a still more extreme step, that of resign- 


ing St. Mary s. This seems in an ascending scale, and a natural way 
of putting things. [I used the word "drop" to mean "informal 

According to my friend s hypothesis, the offer was (i) to suppress No. 
90 ; or (2) to publish no more new Tracts ; or (3) to resign St. Mary s. 
To my mind there is a drop in passing thus from (i) to so small a matter 
as that implied in (2) ; especially when we remember that the Tracts had 
been on the point of being discontinued some years before, and N. had 
told his mother that, if it should come to pass, he could not say that he 
would be sorry (see vol. i. 377). 

(5) My friend adds : " It is a very serious thing to bring a charge 
against a man especially when he is dead for which the evidence to an 
open-minded reader, as I think I am, is quite invisible, and, on your own 
statement of it, only hypothetical." 

I look at the matter quite differently, not in the light of a " charge," but 
as an attempt to get at the true explanation of facts. " Serious" or not r 
this is the "thing" to be done. 

We have to explain how the Bishop of Oxford (apparently) entered 
into an " understanding " with N. ; then (apparently) broke it ; and then 
was eulogized by N. as " noble," &c., &c., &c. My theory is that the 
Bishop used loose and non-technical language in his public message to 
N., assuming that N. would give it a more stringent significance pri 
vately ; that N. at first conceived himself bound to give it this more 
stringent significance ; that afterwards (a thing not at all unlikely in a 
man of his treacherous memory) he forgot this understanding (to which 
he had not definitely committed himself to writing) ; or that he inter 
preted it in a manner more favourable to his desires ; or that, when pressed 
by his friends to make the full use of his position, his " head got simply 
confused" (as on other occasions), and that he was "quite upset," and 
hence allowed himself to do what he had, by implication, given his 
Bishop to understand he would not do. 

This theory, without accusing N. of dishonourable conduct, or of any 
thing but what we might expect from him in a state of confused excite 
ment, enables us to acquit the Bishop of base, deliberate, and repeated 
treachery. For then we can understand why the latter, finding that N. 
had broken the understanding, conceived himself justified in breaking it 
as well. Then, too, we can understand why N. eulogized the Bishop as 
" noble " even though he had accused him of breaking his word ; he 
knew, in his heart, that the Bishop was a gentleman and could not have 
done a base thing, True, his memory of the facts and the theory which 
he had created in his mind, obliged him to impute to the old man an 
action that seemed base ; but in his heart N. (quite rightly) distrusted 
himself so far that he could not trust either his own memory or his own 
mind. So, with an honourable inconsistency he persisted that the Bishop 
ivas "noble," though he had broken his word. Then, in order to supply 
himself with a logical basis for this incongruous conclusion, he invented 
a fact: "the Bishop did not want to break his word, but people in 


London made him; " or else, " The Bishop did not want to break his word ; 
he did it to sooth the popular hubbub and to conciliate the clergy and 
the Bishops." 

As to " dead men," we must remember that there are two "dead men " 
in question. One is Newman ; the other is Dr. Bagot, the Bishop of 
Oxford. I do not believe the latter was " noble." But I refuse to 
believe, without sufficient evidence, that Dr. Bagot had a treacherous 
heart, in order that I may be enabled to disbelieve what, from countless 
sources, I know to be true that Newman had a treacherous memory. 


On so important a subject, the reader may be glad to see the different 
accounts in the Apologia in juxta-position : 

(i.) A. 89 90. " First, if I remember right, they wished me to withdraw 
the Tract. This I refused to do : I would not do so for the sake of those 
who were unsettled or in danger of unsettlement. I would not do so for 
my own sake ; for how could I acquiesce in a mere Protestant interpre 
tation of the Articles ? how could I range myself among the Professors 
of a theology, of which it put my teeth on edge even to hear the sound r" 

[ The answer to this rhetoric is that he HAD done it, and done it SPON 
TANEOUSLY. He had "volunteered an offer to the Hishop of Oxford to 
"suppress Tract 90 " (see above, 271 (a), and had then withdrawn the 
offer. This, he suppresses, or forgets} 

"Next they said, Keep silence; do not defend the Tract; I an 
swered, Yes, if you will not condemn it if you will allow it to continue 
on sale. " 

[T/ie two things are totally distinct. As to an authoritative condemna 
tion of the Tract by all the Bishops, Newman may have been told that it 
was unlikely, if he submitted ; and the Bishop of Oxford may have sa d 
that he n(cd not call in and cancel copies already printed : but this was quite 
different from reprinting three new editions in the very year in which the 
author " published his own condemnation"} 

" They pressed on me whenever I gave way ; they fell back, when they 
saw me obstinate. Their line of action was to get out of me as much as 
they could ; but upon the point of their tolerating the Tract I was obsti 
nate. So they let me continue it on sale ; and they said they would 
not condemn it." 

[/ have pointed out that, so far as there was any ground for this state 
ment, "they " must here refer to a joint condemnation} 

" But they said that this was on condition that I did not defend it, 
that I stopped the series [? stopped the Tracts}, and that I myself published 
my own condemnation in a letter to the Bishop of Oxford." 

[(i) On the very day on which he published the letter, he republished the 
Tract (W. 160) "with various additions and qualifications designed to 
meet the objections which had bee?i made to it in its original form" which, 
I presume, amounted to" defending" the Tract; (2) the " condemnation" 
was no condemnation at all} 


" I impute nothing whatever to him, he was ever most kind to me." 
[ Yet he three times condemned Tract 90, and once with such severity tJiaf 
Newman " could not believe his ears " when he heard the condemnation^ 

" Also they said they could not answer for what some individual Bishops 
might perhaps say about the Tract in their own charges. \Thisindicaief 
that the words "they would not condemn it" used above, refer simply to 
a JOINT CONDEMNATION, and left all the Bishops, individually, free.} 

" I agreed to their conditions. My one point was to save the Tract. 

" Not a scrap of writing was given me as a pledge of the performance 
of their side of the engagement. 

[ What was their " engagement " (supposing it to have had any existence) 
except that there should be no joint condemnation? And there was no 
such condemnation^ 

" Parts of letters from them were read to me, without being put into 
my hands. It was an understanding. A clever man had warned me 
against understandings some thirteen years [ist ed. "six years"] 
before : I have hated them ever since." 

[Mere rhetoric , of no value except that the variation between " jz r" and 
" thirteen " adds one more to the many proofs that N. s memory was 
treacherous. ] 

(ii.) A. 139-40. "I was in the misery of this unsettlement when a 
second blow came upon me. The Bishops one after another began to 
charge against me. It was a formal determinate movement. This was 
the real understanding ; that, on which I had acted on the first appear 
ance of Tract 90, had come to naught." 

[If this means that the English Bishops had combined together to do- 
this, in violation of a compact, it was an act of baseness in Newman to 
firing forward a charge of this kind against men of whom many were 
dead, without alleging a scrap of evidence for it.~] 

" I think the words which had then been used to me, were, that per 
haps two or three of them might think it necessary to say something in 
their charges ; but by this time they had tided over the difficulty of the 
Tract, and there was no one to enforce the understanding. They went 
on in this way, directing charges at me, for three whole years. I recog 
nized it as a condemnation ; it was the only one that was in their 

[It was not. There might have been a joint condemnation^ 

"At first I intended to protest ; but I gave up the thought in despair. 

[He might well "give it up in despair." For he had nothing to protest 
against ; and if we bear in mind the rough, dry, audacious style in 
which he had provoked the conflict we must add that, even in the exag 
gerated tone of some of his assailants, he had not much to complain of.~\ 

(iii.) I must now ask the reader s special attention to the third and 
latest of the three accounts in the Apologia. 

It is much more modest than the other two, and much less bitter, the 
reason being that, since writing or publishing the two previous accounts, 
(younger readers may need to be reminded that the Apologia was pub 
lished in parts) he had found some of his own letters written at the time 


of the understanding. He only gives us scraps of them ; but even these 
quite alter the complexion of the case. It now appears though even 
now very indistinctly that he made his submission with the view of 
averting "such a condemnation" of his Tract by collective episcopal 
authority as would have amounted to " a repudiation of the ancient 
Catholic doctrine which was the scope of the Tract" in other words 
a joint, episcopal condemnation. 

(iv.) A. 207. " A series of their (the Bishops ) ex cathedra judgments, 
lasting through three years, and including a notice of no little severity in 
a Charge {there were more than one } of my own Bishop, came as near to a 
condemnation of my Tract, and, so far, to a repudiation of the ancient 
Catholic doctrine, which was the scope of the Tract, as was possible in 
the Church of England. It was in order to shield the Tract from such a 
condemnation, that I had, at the time of its publication in 1841, so simply 
put myself at the disposal of the higher powers in London. At that 
time, all that was distinctly contemplated in the way of censure, was 
contained in the message which my Bishop sent me, that the Tract was 
objectionable. That, I thought, was the end of the matter." 

[Probably the word " distinctly" seems to N. to justify this statement ; 
and this perhaps is intended to cover the fact that he was war tied that the 
Bishops reserved their individual power to charge against the Tract, and 
that there was nothing of the nature of a formal compact with the 
Bishops I\ 

" I had refused to suppress it, and they had yielded that point." 

\He had spontaneously offered to " suppress " it; then withdrawn his 
offer ; then (probably} agreed to let the Tract drop out of circulation, pro 
vided that it was not authoritatively " suppressed." } 

He goes on to say (A. ist ed. 334-5), "Since I wrote the former 
portions of this narrative, I have found what I wrote to Dr. Pusey on 
March 24, while the matter was in progress." 

Later editions change "wrote" into "published." The alteration is 
of great importance. For these notes to Pusey are quite inconsistent 
with the accounts given in the preceding pages of the Apologia. They 
show that he did, at first, consent to "withdraw" the Tract, the 
very thing that (A. 89-90) he has told us he could not have thought 
of doing (" For how could I acquiesce, &c. &c. &c. &c. ?"). 

Now, if he found these notes to Pusey since writing " the former por 
tions of the narrative," and before publishing them, he ought to have 
rewritten them. For they do not convey a true impression. 

Recognizing the gross negligence which he was imputing to himself in 
the first edition of the Apologia, he (we are to presume) ascertained that 
he had made a mistake, and that he had not found these notes till after 
he had published the former portions, so that he could not rewrite them. 
In default of evidence to the contrary we are bound to accept the correc 
tion " published," though I confess I have learned always to distrust N. s 
memory in matters of that kind. 

But still, even if we grant that the correction represents the fact, the 
charge of gross negligence is only shifted for a year. For how came it 


that in 1865, and in subsequent years, when edition after edition was re 
printed, and when the book became quite a different work from the first 
edition, he still omitted to rewrite the earlier accounts? They do not 
convey the truth. 

Let us now pass to the notes he " wrote to Dr. Pusey on March 24," 
while negotiating with his Bishop. 

"The more I think of it, I said, the more reluctant I am to suppress 
Tract 90, though of course I will do it if the Bishop wishes it ; I cannot, 
however deny that I shall feel it a severe act. According to the notes 
which I took of the letters or messages which I sent to him in the course 
of that day " [so in 1st ed., but later editions alter it into "on that and the 
following days"] " I went on to say" [so in ist ed., but later editions have 
" I wrote successively] : 

My first feeling was to obey without a word ; I will obey still ; but my 
judgment has steadily risen against it ever since. Then in the Postscript, 
* If I have done any good to the Church, I do ask the Bishop this favour, 
as my reward for it, that he would not insist on a measure, from which I 
think good will not come. However, I will submit to him. Afterwards I 
get [so ist ed., but later editions "got"] stronger still and wrote : " I 
have almost come to the conclusion, if the Bishop publicly intimates that 
I must suppress the Tract, or speaks strongly in his charge against it, to 
suppress it indeed, but to resign my living also. You may show this in 
any quarter you please. " 

On this we must remark that there is either a singular neglect on New 
man s part, or else an omission bordering on disingenuousness. For he 
tells us that he has now had time to look up the "notes" that he took of 
"letters or messages" written at this critical time. Is it possible that he 
took no " note " of the " letter" to his bishop, in which he " spontaneously 
offered to suppress Tract 90"? If he did not, that was a singular neglect. 
If he did, and omitted to mention it, most people would call the omission 
disingenuous : for he poses as one who is ready to "submit" to "a severe 
act," and who will " obey" if the Bishop " insists," while, all the time, the 
Bishop is merely asking him to do what he spontaneously offered to do, 
about a week before ! 

I confess I wholly distrust Newman s memory, wherever the interests 
of the Via Media (or any other " Cause") are concerned. I would much 
rather trust the notes that he wrote to Pusey on 24 March if only they 
had been printed ; but nothing is given us except the scraps I have 
quoted from the Apologia. As regards the date of these letters, it must be 
observed that even the latest edition of the Apologia does not deny that 
they were all written (whether notes or records of messages) on 24 March, 
only it asserts that some of them were " sent ; on " following days." 

The statement that they were written on 24 March is confirmed by a 
letter to Keble (25 March) in which he says (L. ii. 338) : " I think I am 
observing my duty to the Bishop by suppressing the Tract, and my duty 
to my principles by resigning my living." It seems, then, that on 24 March 
he wrote to Pusey " I have almost come to" that resolution, and on 25 
March wrote to Keble that he had come to it. If so, the alteration in 


the later editions of the Apologia which states that some of these letters 
or messages were not "sent" till "following days" will not amount to 
more than a difference of a few hours ; and perhaps, indeed, we ought to 
substitute " day " for " days." 

No doubt, it exhibits N. in a rather ridiculous light, when we find him 
on one and the same day writing (i) "of course I will do it" ; (2) " I will 
obey"; then (in a Postscript) (3) "I do ask that he would not insist, 
however I will submit" ; then (4) " I have almost come to the resolution 
to ... suppress it indeed, but to resign my living also." It perhaps 
seemed some kind of extenuation of all these rapid variations, that some 
of them at all events, though dated 24 March, could be nominally and 
vaguely connected with " following days." 

In the same way I should explain his forgetting (if he did forget) to 
state that he had spontaneously offered to do the very thing that he now 
refused to do. For that makes the position of things still more ridicu 
lous ; and accordingly I find no mention made of it either in the Apologia 
or in any of his published Letters. But for the casual mention of it in a 
letter from Church to Rogers, we should never have known of it. 

I may here add that the looseness of "they say" and "they said, 
(about the Bishops) in the Apologia, may be illustrated by its use in L. ii. 
337 " they say the Bishop of London is not to move." This was written 
on 20 March. Then, on 25 March, " Bishops moreover would be charg 
ing ; this the Bishop of London announces." 

273 (b) A. 51 ; 274 (a) "second edition/ W. 160 ; 275 (b) L. ii. 344. 


278 (b) L. ii. 344, V. ii. 397 ; 279 (a) A. 130, "a second time," V. ii 
385, " Dean Church"*, C. 240, "He hardly spoke stronger in 1834 than 
he did in 1841 after No. 90." 

279 (a) "unwillingly," A. 220, 221 ; 280 (b and c) W. 158 ; 280 (d) W. 
177 ; 281 (a) * W. 176 ; 281 (a) "altogether concur." If N. "altogether 
concurred " with Ward, and if Ward maintained that an Anglican might 
subscribe the Articles and yet " hold all Roman doctrine," how was N. 
justified in writing in 1863 (see O. 37-9) a letter in which he says, "I 
never held that persons who subscribed the Thirty-nine Articles were at 
liberty to hold all Roman doctrine " ? 

He may not have publicly maintained it, but there is the strongest evi 
dence to prove (W. 177-184) that, at one time, he held\\.. If he did not, 
he altogether deceived Ward ; and, when Ward freely and openly stated 
the concurrence between himself and Newman, and took full advantage 
of it, Newman never contradicted Ward s statement. Newman s concur 
rence with Ward at this time is also confirmed by E. T. M. ii. 225-6. 
When E. T. Mozley corrected too advanced expressions of Ward s in the 
British Critic, Ward, he says, complained to Newman : " Newman was 
then in this difficulty. He did not disagree with what Ward had written ; 



but on the other hand he had given neither me nor Ward to understand 
that he was likely to step in between us." 

281 (b) W. 161 ; 281 (c) " declined to state expressly," W. 173 ; 282 (b) 
pledge," W. 175 ; 282-284 (a) W. 186-9 ; 284 (a) L. ii. 364 ; 286 (b) A. 
89 ; 287 (a) L. ii. 344, W. 199 ; 288 (b) A. 139, 221 ; 289 (a) " painful," A. 
134, 129, 189 ; 289 (b) A. 139 ; 290 (b)* "a miracle," L. ii. 347 : " Nor do 
I think it God s way, generally speaking, for individuals to leave one 
religion for another it is so much like an exercise of private judgment. 
Three thousand at once were converted on the day of Pentecost. Where 
miracles are brought before an individual, the case is different." 

290 (b) L. ii. 348-9; 290 (c) L. ii. 351 ; 291 (a) "hideous," L. ii. 352-3, 
A. 140, 130 ; 292 (a) L. ii. 356, A. 192. 


293 (a) L. ii. 353, 357, 356 ; 293 (a)-294 (b) L. ii. 376-7 ; 294 (b) L. ii. 
295 (a) L. ii. 360, 361, 366, "certainly,"* the exact words are (L. ii. 360) 
" seems there are certainly plans on foot" ; it is a frequent practice with 
Newman to i gin with " seem " and then add " certainly " ; and occasion 
ally, in quota.. ons, I may have accidentally omitted the word "seem. 
I do not pretend to say what is the precise meaning of " it seems to be 
certainly so," as distinct from " it seems to be so." 

295 (b) A. 148 L. ii. 364, 16 Nov. 1841 ; 296 (a) L. 370, 36. (b)"| 

"a letter," A. 157-62, L. ii. 376-9. It is very difficult to explain wha 
principle has prompted the omissions in the versions of this letter given 
in the Apologia and the Letters. The omissions in the Apologia are no 
indicated by any signs of omission. There are also slight differences ir 
the text of the two versions. 

298 (a)f "seven years." The Apologia has 
"some." The former is more ike N. s thought and style. 
see vol. i. 405, note on 215 (a). 

300 (a) L. ii. 381, C. 274, L. ii. 367, 381, "withdrawing" (sic) ; one 
would have expected " losing." 

On the other hand Isaac Williams, his curate, formally separated him 
self at this time from Newman s religious views ; and Rogers detachec 
himself from the Movement. It must have greatly added to the strain 
on N. to find that he could no longer count on the sympathy of the 
latter : and it is sad to read the following account of the separation 
(I. W. 122-3: 

" He (Rogers) said that he very much wished he could have broken 
off from Newman in the way that I (i.e. WilliamsJ did" [see note on ii. 
301 (b)], "during the latter part of Newman s stay among us, for it was 
a very painful time to him and has left a very uncomfortable retrospect 
for seeing him daily as a Fellow, living in the same staircase, and having 
been in the habit of living with him, he entered into constant contro 


versies and disputations with him, which produced at length a sore and 
irritable feeling, so that there ceased at last to be any friendliness between 
them, in that his separation from us." 

It was a saying of Rogers standing up, it would seem, for the much- 
attacked Reformers that (E. T. M. ii. 230) " Cranmer burnt well." 

300 (a) t{ who asked," i.e. "when he, i.e. the Archbishop asked" ; it is, 
perhaps a Latinism. 

301 (a)* "unchurched," so he writes to Bowden (L. ii. 361). "It is 
quite plain that our rulers can unchurch us, and I have no assurance that, 
&c."; to Keble (L. ii. 360), "unless a Protest" (i.e. against the Jerusalem 
Bishopric) "is made, others will determine that our Church is given up 
and uncatholicized." 

301 (b) % " of two minds." On this statement the following passage 
has an important bearing. It relates to a conversation which took place 
after Tract 90 and apparently (I.W. 123) in 1841, or at the very beginning 
of 1842, "during the latter part of his (N. s) stay at Oxford," before he 
"shut himself up" (6 Feb. 1842) "in his monastery at Littlemore J> 
(ib. uo-i) : 

" One evening when alone in his rooms, he told me he thought the 
Church of Rome was right and we were wrong, so much so that we ought 
to join it. To this I said that if our own Church improved, as we hoped, 
and the Church of Rome also would reform itself, it seemed to hold out 
the prospect of reunion. And then everything seemed favourably pro 
gressing beyond what we could have dared to hope in the awakening of 
religion and reformation among ourselves : that mutual repentance must, 
by God s blessing, tend to mutual restoration and union. No/ he said, 
St. Augustine would not allow of this argument, as regarded the 
Donatists. You must come out and be separate/ " In consequence 
of this, Isaac Williams wrote to Newman that they "could not be 
together "as they had been. But they continued as Vicar and Curate, 
and with no ill-will on either side. 

"All this," he continues (ib. 112), "was long before it was publicly 
known what Newman s thoughts really were ; and he was for some time 
accused by some of dishonesty and duplicity. But the fact really was 
that" I italicize " he was wavering very much in his own mind; and 
the feelings and thoughts he would express to one person or at one time, 
differed very much, in consequence, from what he might express to another 
or on another occasion" 

303 (a) U. 293 ; 303 (b) U. 300, 305-7 ; 304 (a) "nothing too revolting/ 
1 E.T.M. has a remark (ii. 51) about Newman s reception of Arnold s 

Rugby Sermons, which bears on this point : " His volume of Rugby 
Sermons had not been received favourably by Newman and his friends, 
not so much on account of the Sermons themselves, as on account of a 
note on Genesis xxii. in which Arnold laid down that the Almighty could 
I not do an immoral thing, and that consequently if we thought anything 
wrong we were bound to believe that He had not done it." 

304 (a) * U. 298. On this my censor remarks, " I suppose this para 
graph must come here ; but you will not be surprised when Mr. 

H H 2 


quotes against you and your definition of Faith, a sentence you omit from 
the description of a bigot (U. 306) : 

" They conceive that they profess the truth which makes all thinj 
easy. They have their one idea, or their favourite notion, which occui 
to them on every occasion. . . . Perhaps they have discovered, as the 
think, the leading idea, or simple view, or sum and substance of tl 
Gospel ; and they insist upon this or that isolated tenet, selected 
themselves or by others not better qualified, to the disparagement of the 
rest of the revealed scheme. " 

My reply is that I should not be surprised at any true Newmanian 
quoting this against me, because, possibly, a true l Newmanian 
regard the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God as being an " isolate 
tenet," and as not being the " sum and substance of the Gospel." But 
do not think Christians in general could take this view. And certainly 
am far from saying that it is a " truth which makes all things easy." Oi 
the contrary it is very difficult sometimes to hold this belief in the face 
of facts, and along with the belief that God is a perfectly righteous 
Judge. Still, it is our duty to hold it, as Christians. And I am not 
ashamed to confess that it " occurs to me on every occasion " on which 
I repeat the Lord s Prayer. 

304 (a) * " their." I use the plural in order to include polytheists. But 
monotheistic bigots may be polytheists at heart, believing in one God of 

Mercy and another God of Justice, or in one God the Redeemer, and 
another who is an " Offended Majesty," and so on. 304 (b) * " Whately." 
Here is the kind of language that N. would call " bigotry." It is from a 
letter written by Whately to N. (1825, L. i.ioo) in which the former 
" classifies " the " errors of Romanists " thus : " As you so much admire 
my fallacy, I will honour you by communicating a very good way of 
classifying the errors of Romanists ; namely, according to Aristotle s 
enumeration in the Poetics of the manoeuvres performed on words ; some 
are curtailed, some enlarged, some altered, some invented, some borrowed 
from foreigners, some transferred from one sense to another, some tacked 
on where they are not wanted, and some confounded together." 

305 (a) U. 310 ; 306 1 149 " Sibthorp" In the Letters, the spelling is 
always " Sibthorpe "; but the Times of 2 Feb. 1892 contains a (post 
humous) letter with Mr. Sibthorp s own signature spelt as in the text. 

306 (b) W. 190; 307 (a) A. 192, "gain the cup" i.e. the right of 
administering the cup to the laity in the Holy Communion ; 307 (b) 
W. 193 ; 308 (a) W. 197 ; 310 (a) Subj. 318 (28 Nov.) ; 311 (b) Subj. 336-7 
(5 Dec.) ; 312 (b) Subj. 370, 374 (12 Dec.) ; 313 (a) Subj. 380; 313 (b) 
W. 200. 

313 (b) * " unless." By these words I do not deny the possibility that 
he may have believed this. But it seems to me extraordinary that by 
repeating words formally or incredulously, a man should hope to achieve 
any other result than that of forming a habit of formality or incredulity. 
The remedy, I should have thought, would have been to utter regularly 
such prayers as one can utter honestly, in the hope that ultimately one 
may rise to something higher. 


313 (b) W. 200; 314 (b) Subj. 354 (19 Dec.); 315 ^) * "poisoned." 
In the printed sermons, a foot-note is added stating that these four 
discourses on the Notes of the Church are addressed to those alone who 
have lawful doubts on the safety of continuance in our communion. But 
I have found no evidence that any such warning was issued to those who 
were in the habit of attending the church. And even such a warning 
would hardly have excused a preacher who consistently maintained that 
no one ought to hold office in the English Church unless he could attack 
the Church of Rome. 

314 (b) Subj. 354 (19 Dec.) ; 315 (c) " safe to die in," Subj. 355 ; 316 (a)* 
" infernal humbug," W. 316, "When Macmullen said to him one day" 
(i.e. during "the closing years of the Movement," (1842-5) " Bear in 
mind that you are on our principles really a priest of God, Ward broke 
off the discourse, saying, * If that is the case, the whole thing is infer 
nal humbug. " Macmullen is described by Church (C. 279) as a man " of 
high Anglican opinions," who " was known to hold the opinions of the 
movement school " and was " of course, called a Tractarian." 


317 (a) A. 171, L. ii. 386, A. 148 ; 318 (a) Subj. 12 (23 Jan.) ; 318 (b) 
A. 204, 167 ; 319 (b) L. ii. 303 ; 319 (c) see above, vol. ii. p. 217, and 
L. ii. 304, " a biographer," W. M. 39 ; 320 (b) L. ii. 391 ; 321 (b) " cells of 
dormitories," in Phil. 2nd ed. Pref. xxxix. I have, wrongly, taken this as a 
misprint for " cells or dormitories " ; 322 (b) L. ii. 394 ; 322 (d) * " private." 
I do not see how N. could say he was attempting " nothing ecclesiastical," 
after describing his plan as he had done to Rogers : see above, vol. ii. 
p. 216. 323 (b) A. 172 ; 324 (b) * "a flight of undergraduates." u As I 
understand it," says my censor, " the flight of undergraduates had come 
to scoff." The context seems to me to indicate that they had come out 
of curiosity. And even if they came to " scoff," their " guardians " might 
have supposed that (like Sibthorp) they would " remain to pray." 

But why should we impute such fickleness to the young men of whom 
we read that, when the question of Ward s condemnation was " pending," 
(W. 342) " Mr. Ward was cheered by the undergraduates as he left the 
theatre, and the Vice-Chancellor was saluted by hisses and snowballs from 
the same quarter " ? 

325 (b) W. M. 37 ; 326 (a) A. 147, "standing on one leg," A. 103, 
"more definite view," A. 157 quoting a letter of 13 December, 1841, and 
preceded by these words, " The Via Media then disappeared for ever, 
and a new Theory, made expressly for the occasion, took its place. I 
was pleased with my new view." This " Theory " or " view" is what he 
calls " Samaria" (see vol. ii. 312) ; but it was sketched out by him long 
before this, in a letter to Rogers quoted above (Vol. ii. 194) and written 
in October, 1839. 

327 (a) L. ii. 397, 398, "his sister," L. ii. 404 (i December, 1842); 
327 (b) A. 220 ; 328 (a) " heard it wrong."* Every explanation of these 


inconsistencies contains difficulties, but this seems to contains the least- 
I presume that, at first, though he heard the remark about interpretations 
which made the Articles mean anything or nothing, he could not suppose 
that it referred to Tract 90. 

328 (c}* " now," in the early summer of 1842, "letter to his Bishop," 
A. 213, "not the fact."* The question about absolution was not put by 
Lockhart till he had been " a very few weeks at Littlemore " (W. 210), 
and the promise was not extorted by N. till "a little later" (ib. 329). 

329 (a) A. 213 ; 329 (d) this account is from a Tract written by Mr. 
William Clement, dated 1890. A similar account (also coming from 
Lockhart himself) is given in W. 210 ; 330 (c) L. ii. 400 (31 July), for the 
statements in 331 (b)-332 (a) see Phil, passim ; 332 (b) "puerilities," O. 
! 6 ; 333 (b) A. 168, "my head got simply confused." To such a state of 
mind E. T. M. (ii. 35) appears to be referring when he says, " Why did 
Newman pick out from all the extraordinary lives of Saints, the most 
extraordinary and the most surpassing belief, for Anthony [Froude] to 
shatter what was left of his convictions upon ?" 


334 (a) A. 194-5 ; 335 (a) "confession," Subj. 41 (30 October, 1842) ; 
" Continuity," Subj. 213 (13 November, 1842), "breakwater," Subj. 234 
(27 November 1842), "retractation," Subj. 254 (4 December) ; 335 (b) V. 
ii. 418-9; 336 (b) U. 343, 345, 347; 337 (a) U. 348 ; 337 (b) 338 (a) 
U. 349, 348, 346 ; 338 (a)f " in the earlier edition." A friend remarks 
" My edition, which is the first, reads There are seven notes. Was 
the sermon first printed as a pamphlet ? " 

No, it was not. For the sermon was preached on 2 February ; the 
first edition, which contained the error, is dated 4 February ; and his 
sister had read it, not as a pamphlet, but in the first edition (L. ii. 410) of 
his University Sermons. It would appear, then, that my friend s " first 
edition" differs from the real " first." The volume came to " a second 
edition" by 7 March (L. ii. 409) and probably before. 

338 (b) that they are " to be received on authority " is, of course, 
not a quotation, but the inference that the reader naturally draws. 
Here is the passage U. 349-50 : " It would appear that even the most 
subtle questions of the Schools may have a real meaning, as the most 
intricate formulae in analytics, and, since we cannot tell how far our 
instrument of thought reaches in the process of investigation, and at what 
point it fails us, no questions may safely be despised. Whether God 
was anywhere before creation? whether He knows all creatures in 
Himself? whether the blessed see all things possible and future in 
Him ? whether relation is the form of the Divine Persons ? in what 
sense the Holy Spirit is Divine Love ? These, and a multitude of others, 
far more minute and remote, are all sacred from their subject." There is 
nothing to deny, and much to imply, that he regards them as " all sacred 


339 (b) U. 350-1 ; 340 (b)* "in the dark," as compared (for example) 
with Isaac Williams, to whom N. had said, before the spring of 1842 that 
* the Church of Rome was right," and the Anglican Church "wrong," 
" so much so " that Anglicans " ought to join the former" (see note above 
on 301 (b) ). 

341 (c) Subj. 275 (5, or 12 February) ; 342 (a) Subj. 20 (19 February) 
"unfaithfulness," he means, of course, because they showed how great a 
difference there was between him and the English Church, so that he 
could not feel at home in it, or justified in professing to serve it. A. 209 ; 
343 (a( Subj. 38-9 (26 February), S. vi. 24. 349 ; 344 (a) S. viii. 16. 242 (30 
April) ; 344 (b) Subj, 126 (4 June) ; 345 (b) "no more such sacrifices."* 
It is only fair to state the testimony of E. T. M. (ii. 437) : "During the 
whole period of my personal acquaintance and communication with New 
man, I never had any other thought than that he was more thoroughly in 
earnest, and more entirely convinced of the truth of what he was saying, 
than any other man I had come across yet." 

But is not this quite consistent with the fact that N. had periods of self- 
suspicion and self-distrust, which he did not reveal to E. T. M., during 
which his convictions were so far shaken that he put down arguments on 
paper to see how they looked, not being at all convinced of their truth 
or soundness ? Such a revelation would be made to none but a few 
friends, and those of a particular caste of mind, such as Rogers, but they 
certainly revealed occasional characteristics of N. s mind. 

I should take exception, in the same way, to the remarks of E. T. M. 
(ii. 439) on Newman s avoidance of solitude. No doubt, they were true of 
the latest years of N. s Anglican career, but not of other periods. 

346 (a) L. ii. 415 ; 346 (b) L. ii. 417 (25 August), 418 ; 347 (a) L. ii. 423 ; 
347 (e) A. 219, " adhominem? A. 229 ; 348 (b) A. 221 ; 348 (d) A. 213, L. 
ii. 418 ; 349 (a) L. ii. 423, 422-3 ; 350 (a)* " recognized the fact." In A. 
207, he describes the persevering attack of the Bishops on Tract 90 the 
u ostensible, direct, and sufficient reason " for his resignation ; and he says 
that their judgments "came as near to a condemnation" of it, "and, so 
far, to a repudiation of the ancient Catholic doctrine, which was the scope 
of the Tract, as was possible in the Church of England." 350 (b) A. 213, 
" legal difficulties " are suggested in A. 214, and may have occasioned 
the delay. 

351 (a) Subj. 407 ; 352 (b) "veils." The meaning seems to be that 
the amplitude of Scripture conceals to some extent the comparatively 
petty private examplifications which find expression in it. The full 
sentence is : " It is far higher and wider than our need ; and its language 
veils our feelings while it gives expression to them." 

352 (b)* " communion together," see extract in note on vol. ii. 30 (a). 


355 (a) C. 323-5 ; 357 (a) C. 267, 329, 330-1 ; 358 (b) L. ii. 452 ; 359 (a) 
A. 217-9 ; 359 (b) A. 225 ; 360 (a) A. 227 ; 360 (b) * " waiting the Lord s 


time," comp. E. T. M. ii. 48-9 ; " Always waiting for indication, whatever 
happened, for good or ill, he acted upon it. It was a providential stepping- 
stone in a field of uncertainties. No doubt, people may deceive them 
selves by this sort of reckoning, and many have so deceived themselves. 
. . . For everything he did there was this foundation in circumstance, 
and the secret of his career cannot be discovered, if it is to be discovered, 
without taking into account everything that happened to him." 

360 (b) L. ii. 436, " Samaria " * i.e. the Church of England, regarded as 
excommunicated, and under penance, see vol. ii. 312 (b) ; 361 (a) L. ii* 
436, 437; 36i (b) C. 235, A. 228; 362 (a) L. ii. 424 (23 Sept. 1843); 
363 (a) W. 201, A. 228 ; 364 (a) L. ii. 428, A. 222, judicial blindness," 
see quotations, vol. ii. pp. 365, 371, 397. In the last of these passages 
he goes so far as to pray that God would not "add Himself as an 
adversary " against him." 

365 (a) A. 222 ; 365 (c) L. ii. 431-2 ; 366 (a) L. ii. 433 (12 June, 1844) ; 
367 (b) L. ii. 438, " ill-temper,* see Keble s use of the word above, vol. i. 
p. 131 ; 367 (c) A. 227, L. ii. 438 (17 Sept. 1844) ; 369 (a) W. M. 41 ; 
369 (b) W. M. 100-1 ; 371 (a) L. ii. 445 (24 Nov.) ; 371 (b) "injustice," 
see note on 364 (a) ; 372 (b) L. ii. 449-50 (30 Nov.) 451 ; 373 (b) "seven," 
see below, p. 398, and see note on vol. i. 214 (a) ; 373 (c) A. (i ed.) 360. 


375 (b) 377 (a) E. on D. 383-99 ; 376 (b) ib. 394 ; 377 (a) ib. 399 ; 
378 (a) "fear," E. on D. 420, on which see Phil. 224 ; 378 (b) T. 104-5 ; 

378 (c) f E. on D. (ist ed.) 327, much altered in the later edition : I have 
continued the quotation given by the Bishop, for the sake of clearness ; 

379 (b) H. iii. 96, quoting E. on D. (isted.) 264 ; it is not to be supposed 
of course, that N. alleges this single fact as his foundation : there are 
several others, e.g. " St. Irenaeus, a disciple of the Church of Smyrna, 
betakes himself to Gaul, and answers, in Lyons, the heresies of Syria, 7 
" St. Jerome is born in Dalmatia, studies at Constantinople and Alexandria, 
is secretary to St. Damasus at Rome, and settles and dies in Palestine" : 
these facts are alleged as proofs about the "nature of the unity " of the 
Church, to show that it was " a vast organized association" with a 
" unity of government," " a kingdom," and " coextensive with the Roman 
empire." They indicate a disposition to put down anything that came 
to hand, dicenda, tacenda, in order to " accumulate probabilities." 

379 (a) As a specimen of ecclesiastical developments from " high " 
doctrines of sacerdotalism, the reader may be glad to see the following 
extract from Thirl wall s Letters (iv. 239) describing a French sermon 
preached at Bourges in 1862 before the Cardinal Archbishop. The sub 
ject was " the dignity of the priesthood." 

" One of the most expressive passages," says Thirlwall, " was that in 
which the preacher expressed his fear lest he should fail to do justice to 
so great a theme, and his wish that, rather than prejudice it in the minds 
of his hearers, he might draw his last breath at their feet ! Yet it did not 


seem as if the sacerdotal dignity could have been much lowered through 
the inadequacy of his conception of it. For he not only exalted it above 
that of angels and of the blessed Virgin herself (pointing out that the 
priest ( engendra le Fils de Dieu not in his state of humiliation, but in 
one as free from all mortal soil as that in which he existed before his 
incarnation) but, with regard to the rest of mankind, above Le Pere 
Eternel himself. How, you will ask, was that? Well, it was so. In 
the case of imperfect contrition (one of pretty frequent occurrence), God 
says to the sinner, Thou art impure, an abomination in my sight, I can 
not admit thee into my presence, &c. Le pretre lui dit, ne t inquiete 
pas ; jele forcerai de te presser sur son sein. This I suppose was nearly 
the climax, and the preacher came down, not struck by a thunderbolt." 

I wonder whether such doctrine as this of course, divested of the 
southern floridities of the preacher of Bourges, and expressed in our 
drier and colder northern style will ever be preached in a (nominally) 
Anglican pulpit and be logically shown to be the legitimate outcome of 
Hurrell Froude s and Newman s teaching in 1833 that Anglican priests 
are not only " the successors of the Apostles" but also intrusted with the 
awful and mysterious gift of making the bread and wine Chris fs Body 
and Blood. 

(381-3) E. on D. (ist ed.), 240-2, Lectures on the Present Position of 
Catholics, 41-2, both quoted by H. iii. 90-1, 92-3 ; 384 (a) E. on D. 29 ; 
385 (b) f E. T. M. ii. 398. It is obvious to suggest " constraining " as a 
substitute for the possible misprint "containing"; but it may be a 
reminiscence of some subtle phrase of N. s implying that the Divine 
Volition would, as it were, enfold and include the human. The italics in 
the extract are mine. 


388 (a) E. on D. (both editions) 327 ; 389 (a) * u you really will 
believe," comp. above, vol. ii. pp. 163, 313; 389 (b) A. (ist ed.) 325, 
(later ed.) 200 ; 390 (a) A. (ist ed.) 342, (later ed.) 214 ; 390 (b) * " certain " 
and " submission " are in capitals to represent N. s italics ; the italics are 
mine ; 390 (c) * " I thought . . . that the Anglican Church was certainly 
wrong," this slip-shod expression is less excusable here than in the epis 
tolary style of L. ii. 360, ** it seems there are certainly plans on foot." But 
such phrases are quite in N. s style. 

390 (c) * " the Catholic Church," it seems impossible to reconcile this 
with the statement of his curate Isaac Williams, that before 6 Feb. 1842 
he had told the latter that " he thought the Church of Rome was right 
and we were wrong, so much so that we ought to join it" see note, above, 
on p. 301 (b). 

391 (d).A. (ist ed.) 324, (later ed.) 199, the remarks immediately following 
are taken from Phil. 76-7 ; 395 (b) A. 229, 16 Nov. 1844, L. ii. 456-7 ; 
396 (a), see above, note on vol. ii. 30 (a) ; 396 (b) A. 231 ; 397 (a) L. ii. 
460-1 ; 397 (d) A. 231 (30 March, 1845) ; 400 (a).* Writing on 6 Oct., 


his sister says, " I have had a letter, which I have been expecting and 
half-dreading to receive this week from J. H. N. to say he has written to 
the Provost to resign his Fellowship. He adds that now anything may 
be expected any day." 

400 (a) A. 234 ; 401 (b) * " no one could help supposing." Here is the 
account as given in A. (ist ed. 366-7) : 

" Before I got to the end [i.e. of the Essay on Development], I 
resolved to be received, and the book remains in the state in which it was 
then, unfinished. 

" On October 8th I wrote to a number of friends the following 
letter : Littlemore, October 8, 1845. I am this night expecting Father 
Dominic, the Passionist, who from his youth, has been led to have 
distinct and direct thoughts, first of the countries of the North, then of 
England. After thirty years (almost) waiting, he was, without his own 
act, sent here. But he has had little to do with conversions. I saw him 
here for a few minutes on St. John Baptist s Day last year. He does not 
know of my intention ; but I mean to ask of him admission into the one 
Fold of Christ. 

Later editions of the Apologia insert, between these two paragraphs, 
the one quoted above, p. 401 (c). They also insert, before the last 
sentence of the letter quoted here, " He is a simple, holy man ; and 
withal gifted with miraculous powers." It would be interesting to ascer 
tain why N. omitted these words, without giving signs of omission, in the 
first ed. of the Apologia. The letter, as it speaks of Marriott, the Dean 
of Oriel, having rooms " over the head " of the person addressed, was 
probably sent to Church, who was a resident Fellow of Oriel. Rogers, 
I think, was not then in residence. 

401 (c) A. 234 ; 402 (b) Fl. 85 ; 403 (b) W. M. 47 ; 403 (b) "could not 
make it up." This is confirmed by the fact that Dalgairns coming to 
Littlemore in the beginning of October, made the proposition to Newman, 
not when he was resolved to join the Church of Rome, but when he was 
"at the last gasp of Anglicanism." This, at least, seems the only possible 
inference from W. M. 42 : " And now Dalgairns, who had already been 
received by Father Dominic at Aston, and who had returned to find the 
Vicar at the last gasp of Anglicanism. . . . suggested that the Passionist 
should again visit Littlemore." 

403 (a) That Father Newsham was not precluded by absence from 
Oxford from receiving Newman, if the latter had desired it, I infer from 
W. M. 44, where it is said that for the purpose of N. s " first Communion," 
Dalgairns and St. John went into Oxford and borrowed from the Father 
" an altar stone and vestments." 

403 (c) * " was to go to Belgium." This, I suppose, is the latent fact 
at the bottom of the dubious expression in the Apologia quoted on p. 401 : 
" At the beginning of October, the latter (i.e. Dominic) was passing 
through London to Belgium." Literally, this would appear to be in 
accurate. Dominic was in his house at Aston when he was told to go at 
once on " God s service " to Littlemore, and he set out " at the instant " : 
strictly speaking, therefore, he was certainly not "passing through 


London to Belgium " ; but he may have been intending to go to Belgium 
in the course of October. We may call this a " prophetic" but a very 
misleading use of the incomplete, or imperfect, tense. It is not to be 

404 (a) * " a recent and fervid convert." That the impetuous Dalgairns 
might, in this way, have a little overstepped his commission is consistent 
with his character as sketched by E. T. M. ii. 13, " Dalgairns was a man 
whose very looks assured success in whatever he undertook, if only the 
inner heat, which seemed to burn through his eyes, could be well 

404 (b) see note on 400 (a) above ; 405 (b) W. M. 42 ; 406 (a) O. 1 1 ; 
406 (d) W. M. 45, from which I gathered that, in deference to the feeling 
expressed by " the neophytes," the Office was j read in full. But, since 
the text was printed, it has been suggested to me that the meaning may 
be that "the neophytes" were " scandalized " but said nothing about it ; 
so that the legend was, after all, omitted. In that case, the story loses 
its point, if it merely tells us that " the neophytes " felt something but did 
nothing in consequence. However, that may be the true interpretation. 


408 (a)f Essay on Development (ist ed.) 124: quite different in late 
editions. The preface to the edition of 1890 says, " Various important 
alterations have been made .... not indeed in its matter, but in its 
text." But some important alterations extend to " matter/ see Phil. 2nd 
ed. pp. liii.-v. ; 409 (a) C. 350, M. P. s Memoirs, 222, O. 18 ; A. (ist ed. 
p. 17) " I forgive you, Sir Knight, says the heroine in the Romance, I 
forgive you as a Christian. That means, said Wamba, that she does 
not forgive him at all. Mr. Kingsley s word of honour is about as 
valuable as, in the jester s opinion, was the Christian charity of Rowena." 

410 (a) "it would not do," Fl. 131 ; 411 (b) "no pretence," O. 15, "a 
shade too farcical," R. H. H, 197, "no sober man," Hare, iii. 105, quoting 
p. 44 of Lectures on Anglicanism ; 412 (a) ib. Si ; 412 (c) ib. 223 (Lect. 
112) ; 412 (d) ib. 255 (Lect. 129) ; 413 (b)* As an instance of N. s half- 
simulated, perhaps half-reckless, exaggerations, take the following contra 
diction of the rumour that he was intending to return to the Church of 
England (O. 37) : 

" This being my state of mind, to add, as I hereby go on to do, that I 
have no intention, and never had any intention, of leaving the Catholic 
Church, and becoming a Protestant again, would be superfluous, except 
that Protestants are always on the look-out for some loop-hole or evasion 
in a Catholic s statement of fact. Therefore, in order to give them full 
satisfaction, if I can, I do hereby profess ex animo, with an absolute 
internal assent and consent, that Protestantism is the dreariest of possible 
religions ; that the thought of the Anglican service makes me shiver, and 
the thought of the Thirty-nine Articles makes me shudder. Return to 
the Church of England ! No ! The net is broken and we are delivered. 


I should be a consummate fool (to use a mild term) if in my old age I 
left the land flowing with milk and honey for the city of confusion and 
the house of bondage." 

The bitterness of this seems, at first, absolutely inexcusable ; it rings 
false, too ; and it is in bad taste. But he explained it afterwards in a 
letter to Sir John Cope (Fl. 131). The world, he says, would not believe 
him if he spoke calmly ; and similarly he explains his reply to Kingsley, 
" A casual reader would think my language denoted anger, but it did 
not. ... It would not do to be tame and not to show indignation." 

Which are we to believe ? Newman s words ? or his explanation of 
them ? Probably neither, without reserve. He was so changeable, and so 
tortuous, that he could not be sure what he meant when he said anything. 
In part probably he simulated indignation, in part he felt it ; and as he 
used the lash dexterously, he sometimes liked to use it, and used it too 

415 (a)* Exp. (1890) 342, the author adds that "there was no pretence 
of asceticism about Newman." 

415 (a) "his prayer" S. on Various Occasions, 241-2, " Terence," Exp. 
231 ; 416 (b) P. 310 ; 416 (d) P. 312 ; 416 (e)* " the floor was his bed." 
In addition to Newman s account of St. Philip, the reader may be glad to 
see the following, which a friend has sent me, extracted from R. 
Vaughan s Hours with the Mystics, Parker, 1856, vol. ii. p. 184, and 
which the author (ib. 188) professes to have " collected from Romanist 
records " : 

" The fancies of Madame Guyon in this respect are innocent enough in 
comparison with the monstrosities devised by Romish marvel-mongers to 
exalt her saints withal. St. Philip Neri was so inflamed with love to God 
as to be insensible to all cold, and burned with such a fire of devotion 
that his body, divinely feverish, could not be cooled by exposure to the 
wildest winter night. For two-and-fifty years he was the subject of a 
supernatural palpitation, which kept his bed and chair, and everything 
moveable about him, in a perpetual tremble. For that space of time his 
breast was miraculously swollen to the thickness of a fist above his heart. 
On a post-mortem examination of the holy corpse, it was found that two 
of the ribs had been broken, to allow the sacred ardour of his heart more 
room to play ! The doctors swore solemnly that the phenomenon could 
be nothing less than a miracle. A divine hand had thus literally enlarged 
the heart (see Gorres, Die Cristliche Mystik, p. 4, c. i) of the devotee. 
St. Philip enjoyed, with many other saints, the privilege of being miracu 
lously elevated into the air by the fervour of his heavenward aspira 
tions. . . . The noses of eminent saints have been endowed with so 
subtle a sense that they have detected the stench of concealed sins, and 
enjoyed, as a literal fragrance, the well-known odour of sanctity. St. 
Philip Neri was frequently obliged to hold his nose and turn away his 
head when confessing very wicked people." 

417 (a) P. 310; 417 (b) "lost nothing on that account," Exp. 340; 
4 1 8 (a) E. on Development, 399; 419 (a) quoted from N. s Ideal of a 
University by Mr. Wilfrid Ward, Nineteenth Century, 1890, p. 572, 


comp. also R. H. H. 192-3 ; 419 (b) R. H. H. 193; 420 (b) "fears." I 
have given given ample reasons fo* this conclusion in the preceding 
chapters : but it is confirmed by a passage from E. T. M. He is com 
menting upon the exaggerations that must be expected from the "imita 
tors" of the Leader of a movement, and thus describes the teaching of a 
Mr. Seager, who (L. ii. 257) (ii. 143) often acted as N. s locum tenens in St. 
Mary s : " Newman left Seager in charge of St. Mary s occasionally and for 
some time. He was a man of sad aspect, with a deep hollow voice, and he 
preached so continually on hell and all its horrors that the Principal of 
Brasenose, whose family attended the Church, was obliged to protest and 
threaten his withdrawal. He could not answer for the consequences on 
the weaker members of his household." 

Such preaching, though (doubtless) inferior to N. s in respect of taste 
and literary skill, appears faithfully to represent the tendency of what I 
have called above N. s " religion of fear." It shows what his "imitators" 
were likely to preach. In this respect, then, the New Anglicanism 
appears to owe no debt to Newman. 

421 (b) This termination may seem to some of my readers to savour of 
a bad kind of predestinarianism. But I intend it only to imply laws of 
spiritualtcause and effect meting out what is on the whole best : and I 
cannot disguise my feeling that for Newman, being what he was from 
the first an essentially solitary soul, with a strong sense of the fearful 
mystery of the Invisible ; with no corresponding sense of the perfect 
Love and perfect Justice which will be, in the end, found to be identified 
in the Supreme ; and continuously deepening, by his own free conduct, 
as well as under stress of circumstances, these features of solitariness, 
timorousness, selj -suspicion, and ^//-suspicion it was good, and fit, that 
he should find a refuge in the Church of Rome. The change must have 
brought to him a distinct moral gain, if it lifted him out of his fears and 
delivered him, in part, from his old conception of Christ. He could 
never have been at home in Teutonic, that is to say, domestic, Chris 
tianity. The result was not the best, but it was the best possible. 

Partly too I think I was guided to this conclusion by a recollection of 
one of the many flashes of suggestive truth which are to be found in the 
Reminiscences of Mr. E. T. Mozley, who tells us how, on an occasion 
when the thesis was maintained that " men never change/ Newman took 
the side of the afftrmer ; and he adds (E. T. M. i. 207) that N. "always 
claimed to have been substantially the same from first to last ; only in 
progress and development under heaven-sent guidance, impulses, and 


429 (b) Amiel, Journal Intime, Mrs. Humphry Ward s Translation, 
p. 29 ; 431 (c) " especially English theologians." I was correcting for 
the press the last sentence of this work when a friend placed in my hands 
a pamphlet (bearing date 30 Jan. 1892) entitled England s Debt to New 
man. This gives all the more point to my final words because it is 


written by an " English theologian." The author is the Rev. Dr. Sanday, 
Dean Ireland s Professor of Exegesis at Oxford, and one of the most 
amiable of men. It is characterized by even more than his usual amia 
bility but somewhat less than his usual insight. 

Dr. Sanday selects one of Newman s earliest sermons, preached in 1831 
before the Via Media was started, as the basis for a panegyric on the 
preacher. It is on " Religious Emotion" and contains passages of great 
beauty and truth. For his special purpose Dr. Sanday chooses an extract 
in which Newman after assuming that "the highest Christian temper 
is free from all vehement and tumultuous feeling" turns to "our 
Great Pattern Jesus Christ," and asks, " Can we find anywhere such 
calmness and simplicity as marked His devotion and obedience?" In 
the context (which the Professor does not quote) Newman is ready to 
allow that St. Paul s utterances were sometimes marked by " greater 
fervency " or " more emotion," as compared with those of " Agar " and 
"Joshua"; but he declares that the Apostle spoke "with not more 
acceptableness on that account in God s sight." He half appears to 
excuse St. Paul as being "accidentally agitated" during the struggle of 
his life, and calls attention to his greater calmness at the close. But he 
will not allow that Christ ever spoke with " fervour." He asks, in words 
which I italicize (and these are part of Dr. Sanday s extract) " When does 
He ever speak with fervour or vehemence ? " The implied answer is, of 
course, " Never." To this Newman makes no exception, save " one or 
two words of His in His mysterious agony and death, characterized by 
an energy which we do not comprehend and which sinners must silently 
adore." The extract then goes on to remark u how conspicuous and 
undeniable is His composure in the general tenour of His words and con 

After quoting this extract, which extends beyond two pages of his 
pamphlet (pp. 8-10), the Professor exclaims, " Can any of us lay his hand 
on a passage in any other writer which touches a characteristic aspect of 
the Christian spirit with such inimitable delicacy, sensitiveness, and 
truth ? Just in two strokes, so to speak, to hit the central virtue of the 
Liturgy, and a central virtue of the Gospel ! " And then (I italicize) : 
"A kind of awe comes over the soul when it thinks of either for ever 

I confess no " kind of awe comes over " my soul when I think of the 
" two strokes," which are, I presume, the two pages but a kind of 
wonder when I think of the eulogist s encomium. 

First, as regards the latter, is it not a rather poor compliment to our 
Prayer Book to describe a mere negative quality, the mere abstinence 
from fervour or vehemence, as " the central virtue of our Liturgy " ? 
I call it "negative"; for what is it that he is praising? Newman has 
said that " the highest Christian temper is free from all vehement and 
tumultuous feeling," and it is this "freedom from all vehement and 
tumultuous feeling," that Dr. Sanday selects as the highest merit of our 
Liturgy. How can this be described as other than a negative quality? 
Newman himself could hardly hope to make it appear a positive virtue of 


the highest order by identifying such a negation with the " calmness and 
simplicity" which "marked Christ s devotion and obedience"; for 
the retort would be obvious that in our Lord the " devotion " and 
k< obedience " were fundamental and invariable, the calmness was not 
so : there were occasions when He was not, could pot be, ought not to 
have been, calm. However, even the Professor does not venture to say 
that it is " the central virtue " of the Gospel ; there it is only a "central 
virtue" I should call it not even that ; it is certainly not a central virtue 
of St. Paul s epistles but about our Anglican Prayer Book the Ireland 
Professor of Exegesis at Oxford proclaims that it is the central virtue 
of it, that it does not indulge in the language of religious excite 
ment ! I confess, if I were disposed to criticize the inexpressibly beautiful 
Collects for Ascension Day and the following Sunday, I should say 
it was their " central virtue " that they express devotion and aspiration r 
and lift our hearts up to God, not that they avoid excitement and fervour. 
But Dr. Sanday finds in them the supreme merit of realising, not sursum 
corda, but ne quid nimis and sunt certi denique fines \ 

Now to return to the preacher. As long as he confined himself to our 
Lord s prayers or utterances to the Father, he is on tolerably safe ground. 
For (in the Synoptic Gospels) they are very few indeed and might be 
compressed into one of the small paragraphs of a newspaper. Yet even 
these contain an appeal to God which mentions the word " forsaken," 
and a petition that the "cup" might pass from Him. Newman calls 
attention to the fact that the latter petition is " concise " ; he forgets to 
add that He repeated it thrice. But it is more important to observe that 
Newman passes beyond this province into that of " the general tenour of 
His words and conduct/ mentioning our Lord s " serious words to Judas," 
His " conduct " when " He is described as washing His disciples feet," 
and other instances of words or acts to His followers and His enemies ; 
and all these are to be considered in reference to the extraordinary 
question, When does He ever speak with fervour or vehemence ? 

When ! Why, when (according to the Synoptic Gospels) he called 
Herod a " fox " ; and when He rebuked the ruler of the synagogue as a 
" hypocrite " for wishing to prevent the sick folk from coming to Him on 
the Sabbath to be healed ; and when He declared that the money 
changers had made His Father s house " a den of thieves " ; and when 
He said to Peter "Get thee behind me, Satan"; and when, to certain 
others, He said, " Fill ye up then, the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, 
ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell ? " I 
should go yet further and say that in many other utterances of His there 
was at least a warmth approaching to " fervour," as, for example, in the 
passionate sorrow with which He cried to the children of Jerusalem, " Be 
hold, your house is left unto you desolate " ; and in the reproachful sadness 
with which He said, " What, could ye not watch with me one hour ? " ; or 
when He exclaimed, with an intense exaggeration which nothing but 
"fervour " can explain, " If any man hateth not his father and his mother, 
he cannot be my disciple." But I am ashamed, thus, after the fashion of a 
Sunday School teacher, to go on to enumerate words of Christ which arc 


familiar to all, and which amply demonstrate that, on fit occasion, our Lord 
could speak with the refreshing force of passionate indignation and honest 
human "fervour." It was natural that Newman should glide over these. 
Special pleader that he was, he probably avoided them with an uncon 
scious instinctive skill : they did not suit his purpose, which generally 
was to exhibit a dehumanized Christ, man only in name. But surely they 
ought not to have escaped the attention of Dean Ireland s Professor of 
Exegesis at the University of Oxford ! 

But this is not enough. Dr. Sanday compares Newman with Wyclif 
and Wesley, and will " not admit that Newman had claims at all 
inferior" to either of these ! Lastly, in his eulogy on the Parochial and 
Plain Sermons, he says, " Their influence has sunk deep, and " the 
italics are mine " of all the agencies which have gone to make the English 
Church what it zs, I doubt if there is any which has been so powerful" 

Alas, if that were so, for " the English Church " ! But I hope better 
things for it. I cannot help surmising that the writer has forgotten that 
the English Church implies the laity as well as the clergy ; and such is 
my confidence in English non-theological honesty and common sense 
that, before the next century is on us, Professor Sanday s comparison of 
Newman with Wesley and Wyclif will (I am firmly convinced) if remem 
bered at all, be remembered as a literary curiosity. 

But I owe a debt of gratitude to England s Debt to Newman. It 
convinces me that my work, whether written in vain or not, was not 
written without cause. 


2427 4 


BX Abbott, Edwin Abbott 
4705 The Anglican career of 

N5A7 Cardinal Newman